Do you trust the world and the people around you?
Or do you feel that the world is a hostile place and you just can’t trust anything or anyone?
I meet some people in the course of my life and my work who seem to be completely closed off to the world and what it offers.
A lot of us have been almost conditioned to expect the worst and we have learned not to trust others. As a result we rarely see the world as it truly is – a trusting and safe place where people are not out to get you.
I just read a really interesting article from Gary Arndt where he talks about the 20 things he’s learned from travelling around the world for three years.
His first key point is that people are generally good all over the world. Yes, believe it or not, the vast majority of humans are not thieves, murderers or rapists!As I have said before, they are people just like you and me, with their own challenges and dreams. And as Gary says, regardless of their race, religion or nationality, people and their general goals are the same, though the way they go about their living might be different.
Let’s go on a slight detour so I can illustrate my point with a short story from my life.
“No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence.” – T. S. Eliot
One of the great things about where I live in London is that I get to see and interact with different people every day.
I also learn a lot about life simply by observing those around me.
Yesterday was no exception. I was on a London Underground train and the carriage was fairly empty when I got on the train. At the next stop, a blind woman got on with her guide dog.
She sat in one of the special seats assigned for the elderly, pregnant women or children, and I guess also for the blind. Despite having lived in London for many years, this was actually the first time I’ve seen a blind person on a train with a guide dog.
The dog quietly sat down close to her and the woman patted him gently a few times. What struck me was that there was clearly a great bond between the two of them.
I began to imagine what it would be like to live your life in such a way where you could trust your dog and also those around you to guide you and look after you.
I wrote a while ago about how my single day of blindness opened my eyes forever. But this was different from what I had previously experienced.
Throughout the next few stops along the train journey, passengers came and went. Each time they carefully walked around the dog, who due to his large size took up most of the space in the walkway.
Everyone seemed to be looking at the woman and the dog in awe – or perhaps that was just my interpretation of their stares. I would like to think that they were definitely looking on with some empathy, respect and compassion.
I am also guessing that many people in that carriage were at that time grateful for the gift of their own eyesight.
When the train stopped at her destination, the woman got up and the dog gently led the way out. Everyone made room for her, and in all this time not a single word was exchanged.
On the platform she hesitated and then seemed to work out which way to go. The dog led the way and within a few seconds they were gone.
I turned around away from the window and saw that almost all the passengers had also been observing the blind woman and her dog.
It felt like everyone was spell bound by seeing the blind woman and her dog in perfect harmony. It was actually quite beautiful to watch.
I also bet you my bottom dollar that this woman leads a full life, regardless of her blindness.
And why shouldn’t she?
This brings me back to my original point. Trust. Or more to the point, a lack of trust. And just how easy it can be to see the world as either a hostile place or a safe place.
To be blind and to invest all your wellbeing and safety in a loyal and trained guide dog must take some trust and faith.
In the same way, what will it take for you trust more in the world around you?
Why can’t you just trust in the world and the people around you?
Some people can’t physically open their eyes and look around – but you can. So open your eyes and look at the world in a trusting way.
The more you trust in the world being a safe and loving place, the more you will find it to be so.
Expect the best in others and of yourself – and that’s just what you will get. Expect things to always work out for the best, and they will. In my experience, things always work out for the best
How often do you trust and just let go?
It’s an oft repeated cliché, but is your glass half empty or half full?
“You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible” – Anton Chekhov
So this is what I would like you to do next. Think about one thing going on in your life which you are concerned about, or where you are not sure about the outcome.
Review this situation in your mind and see how it could be turned around by being more trustful. Then share your story below, so we can all also learn from you. Thank you.
And if you ever find yourself losing trust and getting despondent about your world, then just remember my story about the immense trust put by the blind woman in her guide dog.
You don’t need a guide dog to navigate through your own life in a safe and happy way – you just need a trusting and positive outlook.Photo courtesy of sskennel
Nothing like seeing the unseen to make you value what is taken for granted.
Takes a brave person to believe and trust a dog that was trained by others who can see.
Usually it takes a while to get a dog to the level where it can go out and be matched to a blind person. And interesting enough, quite a few dogs flunk guide dog school.
There has to be a special bond of trust between dog and human and as you say why do we prefer to trust a guide dog and not humans? I guess it is because animals have no guile whilst humans have this trait.
I believe that we all have the best guide dog in the universe in all of us. Intuition.
Andre, I am always amazed at how you are often the first person to comment!
Thanks for sharing your insights about guide dogs – funny to think that quite a few them flunk guide dog school! Indeed, funny to even visualise a guide dog school.
Our intuition is indeed our guide dog – so we need to align that intuition with a belief that people are inherently good.
Often our intuition will tell us when to take care and be aware of a situation, or even a certain person. But essentially we should come from the space that people mean well.
I really enjoyed the quote from Chekov, “You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible”. As someone who spent much of his life not trusting I can attest to life becoming a pretty miserable place under those conditions.
I think the challenge is the transition from not trusting the world to learning to trust it. Like anything a lack of trust becomes entrenched, a way of being.
Stephen, thanks for sharing the Chekov quote.
And I am glad you are now more trusting of people. In the past I remember a couple of friends who were just not trusting of anyone. Not only were they miserable and unhappy most of the time, it became very draining for those around them.
For some people, it does become entrenched and a way of being. Others like you can luckily learn to trust the world.
I was once an “extremely” trusting person. I trusted “everyone” and accepted people at face value. Because of this trait, I found that I made friends easily and was very open to life. While that trust in most cases was deserved, in a few cases it was not. I realised my nown vulnerability in this area and to be honest, it is my own judgement I no longer trust. I have gone from being an extremely open and trusting individual, to being “not”. I now realise that I have gone into reverse and need to gain some equilibrium. The trusts broken were not little. They were big. How to find a way back….. !
Fiona, over the many years I have now known you, I have always seen you as a trusting and open person. And why should you have changed?
When our trust in someone is broken, it can be regained given time and willingness on both side. But often it’s time to move on, learn the lesson and just be slightly more cautious next time. This doesn’t mean you have to go the other extreme – at the end of the day, most people are good and well-intentioned.
People like that really are awe inspiring, I think very few of us are able to trust absolutely and completely in someone else – there is always that tiny part of us which draws back.
I agree that you get what you expect – if you expect the world to be a wonderful place full of kind, generous, caring people, that’s what it will be. Unfortunately not everyone does see this and so it is not always this way:(
Kate, you said it – such people are truly awe inspiring.
Also, you are clearly someone who see’s the world to be a wonderful place, full of kind, generous and caring people:-)
I agree in essence with what you are saying. Trust is important to have, trust ones own instinct and intuition, trust your friends and so on. I couldn’t imagine my world without the trust I experience. But don’t forget to know when to be “careful”, so that trust doesn’t backfire. Trust yourself to know when to be cautious in certain situations. I’m a positive person and believe in the best in people. But when I’m alone at night traveling home on a empty subway I’m on full alert, trusting my senses to guide me safely home. I believe that the vast majority of people have good hearts but unfortunatly the sad and lonely ones are struggeling in this world and do lash out. I suppose they’ve also become this way in part due to the fact that they have themselves experienced so little trust in their worlds.
Shelly, welcome to my blog and thanks for your insightful contribution.
Trusting in others is one thing but being foolish and reckless is something else. Yes, we do need to take the usual precautions when we are in a situation such as travelling late at night on your own.
You just never know what’s going on for other people so do trust them, but at the same time listen to your intuition.
And so often as yuo say, it’s what’s happened to other people in terms of having been let down that causes them to be less trusting.
Came straight over from Virgin Bloggers… you’ve got a fantastic response tou your guest post over there… never seen such enthusiastic commenting!
I’m a bit rushed at the moment but I will read this post later this evening and leave a more appropriate comment.
Thanks for the great banter.
Until later – Keith
Great to connect with you Keith via the Virgin Blogger!
I have had a blast with writing and commenting on that guest post. It allowed me to truly show my fun side:-)
I look forward to connecting with you more deeply and getting to know you better as a blogger and a friend.
Having seen your fun side I now see your serious side.
Super story to show how caring people generally are I guess that most of the time I have no problem trusting people.
Must be a hard life for people who have no trust.
Thanks for a short and thoughtful post.
See you soon.
Mr Darcy. LOL
Keith, great that you have now seen both sides to me – the serious and the wild!
No matter whether people are serious or wild, you just have to trust them as they really are genuinely caring.
Trust Trust Trust…it`s such an important part to live everyday without resistance. I love this article because it creates an awareness for us to become more open to circumstances and events.
Everyday, I am grateful and I believe the universe has conspiracy to help me and guide me if I am only open to what comes my way. It`s liberating and feels so good to say “Yes“ and “Thank-you“ more often. I think everyone should try it whether it is a smile or a short conversation, or to ask or lend a helping hand.
There is a quote, I can`t remember where it is from, that says – “All strangers are family members you haven`t met yet“ …
Good to see you here again after a long time. Congratulations re your new site – it looks very informative and inspirational.
I loved the quote you shared with us – how our world would be transformed if we saw all strangers as family members!
I shall certainly do as you suggest and say more “yes” and “thank you” more often. Especially good for me would be to be open to asking for help more often as that’s something I hardly do.
Hi Arvind! I love the story of the lady and her dog. It’s always beautiful to experience people exchanging love and trust.
I believe that what you give out in life, you get back. I tend to trust people right of the bat. I believe in the goodness of the human race and therefore there is no reason not to trust. Since I see people’s good side, that’s what I get back from them. We can live in a beautiful world with beautiful people if we choose to.
Loving blessings, my friend!
Thanks for sharing your approach to life – yes, you always get back in life what you give out.
Indeed it is a beautiful world with beautiful people:-)
Blessings to you too, Andrea.
What a good story. It made me think of a lot of things: first, I’ve had three dogs in the last 15 years (one has passed) and the bond is tight. They teach me a lot, and I have a lot of trust in them and vice-versa. I have a lot of respect for dogs who do the work that guide dogs do and the people who train them.
Second, I used to work in social work and cared for mentally handicapped folks, and one was blind (severe Down’s Syndrome, non-verbal, touch-aversive, no comprehension etc though he had some smarts in different ways). He couldn’t trust, me because he had been abused in an institution previous to coming to the group home where I cared for him. And in the years since the institution and prior to my arrival, nobody had made any effort to help him with it–he was sort of dragged around, more or less. I changed that, though, with some programs that gradually built up his trust to the point that we could care for him without him getting terrified. People just didn’t see that his terror was a natural reaction to the abuse, and the only way to change it was not to scold him but to love him–gradually, appropriately, slowly. We showed him that the world could be a safe place–for him, it hadn’t been.
When people can’t trust, it’s because that’s what their experience is. For me, though, I prefer to not judge the entire world by a few, and if I do find some people or situation that isn’t safe, I just go someplace else. Can’t let a few apples spoil the bunch, you know!
Leah, what a moving story!
Thanks for sharing how you helped this person slowly and surely regain trust and overcome his terror. Very moving.
It took a long time for the trust to be re-established but it shows that it can be even in hte most extreme circumstances.
And yes, good to get away from the bad apples rather than judging them all!
I have been dealing with this topic recently in my life. I live in a forest community that has lovely paths and trails and yet I have allowed fear to keep me from enjoying them on walks alone. I really had to come to terms with what is a rational precaution and what is just a lack of trust in the goodness of life in general. I get out there more now…still making sane choices but now I am out there more participating in life. 🙂 Very nice post. I enjoyed this a great deal.
Emma, welcome to my blog via the Virgin Blogger!
Great that you are now being more trusting and seeing more of the nature around you:-)