guide dog

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

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