Trust is the reliance on and confidence in the integrity, surety, and strength of someone or something. Trust takes time to build, and it only strengthens as it overcomes the obstacles that test it. Trust can be a measurement of a pair’s bond. Yet trust can be shattered in a split second.
As infants, we automatically learn how to trust our parents and siblings. As we grow older, we place our trust in close friends and coworkers. As we grow older still, we trust our spouse and our own children. In a few special cases, we may trust a handful of people with our only lives and innermost secrets. If we have so much confidence in our relationships with these people, what, then, does this trust lead to?
I have just recently finished reading Shakespeare’s Othello. In it, a rich man named Roderigo is in love with Desdemona. He has been trying for ages to woo her, so when he finds out that she has secretly married Othello, he rages at Iago, Othello’s ancient and the one who has been helping him woo Desdemona. Iago assures Roderigo that he will get the girl in the end – all he has to do is give him a lot of jewels and sell all of his stuff. Then, Desdemona will ditch Othello and fall in love with him instead. Easy peasy, right?
Sounds good enough to Roderigo. So, Roderigo idiotically follows Iago’s instructions – he gives Iago his jewels and sells his possessions – because he trusts that Iago will get him the girl.
I won’t give away anything just in case you haven’t read Othello yet, but I will say that Roderigo receives the short end of the stick in his deal with Iago.
In another instance, Othello himself receives the short end of another stick. Iago tells Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him. Although Othello gets the “hard proof” that he demands, he never bothers to confirm what he’s told with his wife herself. Othello’s fate? You guessed it – not ideal. But Othello had good reason to trust Iago, Iago who seemed so dependable and convincing (again, no spoilers). What happened?
Trust is one of the greatest things that can be shared between two people. However, as we can learn from Roderigo and Othello, we shouldn’t trust others so blindly. No matter how authentic the other person seems, nor how long we have known them. People can always have ulterior motives.
You can disagree. If so, then I leave you with only one suggestion: please confirm what you’re told. That is the very least thing you can do.