Do You Trust Yourself?

TIME cover 07-02-1990 “A Hero in America” w. South African activist Nelson Mandela

Should you trust yourself? Are you considered trustworthy? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about “trust” lately.

Over the past few weeks, while watching the news on television or reading newspapers, I’ve noticed many reports about our country’s health care fiascoOften mentioned is how many of our citizens don’t trust the government to run the “public option.” Also, I’m reading and hearing that many don’t trust President Obama. This has caused me to think about whether or not I’m considered trustworthy.

Aung San Suu Kyi

What does it mean to be trustworthy? Looking at this question from a historical point of view, I know that most of the great leaders have been people who were considered trustworthy. They were people who could be counted or relied upon, at least by their followers. For whatever position s/he historically had, the followers of the great person thought s/he did the right thing.

Examples of recent leaders who have manifested trustworthiness to a large number of followers are Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln and President Obama. Well, that’s nice to know, but how can we use this to help us become better people? Of course, I am assuming that one aspect of being a better person is being trustworthy.

Let’s talk the talk, while we walk the walk!

I think that a trustworthy person does the right thing, no matter what it is and no matter when it needs to be done. They share relevant and appropriate information in a clear and accurate manner. A trustworthy person says what s/he means and means what s/he says. A trustworthy person “talks the talk and walks the walk.”

I know when I am asked to write recommendations, one of the attributes I try to address regarding the person I am recommending is her/his character. I think a person who is trustworthy, is a person who is manifesting a very important aspect of character. It’s not the only one I consider, but an important one. Now, I realize that even crooks might trust each other, but that still doesn’t discount the importance of the quality of trustworthiness.

Of course, being trustworthy is a quality that, when earned, doesn’t last forever. By this, I mean we must earn trust over and over again. It’s very easy to lose trust, and when it is lost, it often takes a long time to regain it. In other words, trust is like fragile glass; it is easy to break and very difficult to put back together.

Sorry, I don’t trust crooks!

So, how do you become trustworthy in a positive way? Well, first you must have good values, like honesty and respect, that are manifested in your behavior. Your behavior should demonstrate what you believe in, and as mentioned above, “talk the talk and walk the walk.” You should admit your mistakes and not try to make them appear as belonging to someone else. And, you should trust yourself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is reported to have said,Self–trust is the first secret of success.” Indeed, if we are to be successful, then we must have self-trust. Self-trust enables us to be confident, and happy to live with ourselves.

Do you trust yourself?  Please answer the following questions.

Do you work to earn your trust?

Do you generally try to “do the right thing?”

Are you honest with yourself?

Do you readily admit your mistakes to yourself?

Do you think you can be relied upon?

Do you love yourself?

If you answered “yes” to all of the questions, then most likely, you trust yourself. Do you?

The best proof of love is trust. —Joyce Brothers

Are you proving your love?

I would love to read your comment. Trust me, I will personally respond to your response. :-)

2 Comments on “Do You Trust Yourself?”

  1. Ron, this was really a nice article. I have been doing some reading on Jesus Christ in the Bible and other works that I have to try and comprehend his message to us during this time of the year. I am not sure a person has to be like Nelson Mandela or Abraham Lincoln to be trustworthy. But the characteristics of reliability,integrity,ability and surety most certainly are required to be trusted.

    When I got out of the Army back in 1972 I got a job painting the Conoco station in Elsberry. I needed some help and I called upon a person I knew who would be there at 0800 when I started and would work through to 1700. I did not have those hours. I started at 0730 and I usually would end up around 1900 or later. I was young then. This person was a pretty heavy drinker, he smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and he was divorced. But he was trustworthy to get the job done. I might add that he died in his early fifties from the result of all of his vices. But he was reliable to do what I had intended him to do.

    The questions that you entertain here go beyond being trustworthy. I think pride is a detriment sometimes to health. People are too proud to admit when they are wrong. (You know….like invading a country to get the oil and say you are there to stop weapons of mass destruction and you do not find any weapons so you meet and make up another reason and say you are there to spread democracy.) Vanity is also something that we could use a little less of. Now don’t get me wrong. I have been as vain and proud as the other guy and I have realized that it is very bad for ones health. It is very bad for those you surround yourself with in your daily life. These characteristics fall under the statement or statements above…..Are you honest with yourself? Do you love yourself? We most certainly have to account for ourselves. Tough job!

    As far as health care goes in American, we have to restructure the system. Government can address the tremendous waste in Medicare to start with. It does not mean eliminating it like some of our leaders would like to do. It means making it more efficient and realistic. Giving a ninety year old man a prostrate exam for cancer is probably not the most efficient use of health care funds. I think you get the drift of what I am saying. From my personal experience in the government, I think it can be more accountable for its expenditures all around. So, let us make it more accountable. I will say that the Social Security branch or department, etc. is really very well organized. Maybe the federal government would be better served in health care if it gave more control to the states to administer it and account for it. But account for it by state and by federal means of accountability. You do have to spend more to control it, but at least you CONTROL IT.

    You posed some outstanding questions that we can address ourselves with to make us better people. Let us pose some questions as Americans. What do we really stand for? Do we stand for I am in this life for just me? Or, do we take the stance that we are all in this together? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
    For all of the hard working young people who can not afford 12000 dollars a year for health care for their families, I say let us redesign this process of health care and account for it and make it a right that no one should suffer any type of illness unattended in this great country of ours.
    But I must add that I can not afford to pay for my health care and also pay the same amound in additional taxes per year. Something has to go.
    This is why I am for the state and federal governments to do a better job of accounting for their money. I think we can have great education programs, health care programs and other programs that benefit people by readdressing our priorities. But the true realitiy is that we WILL HAVE TO PAY HIGHER TAXES. People get real. We are in so much debt that we have to face the real world. So buckle up and let us get the job done. But let us go about it fairly and account for what we spend.

    Again, great article. I am still searching for some answers on spirituality. It is not something I can just come up with overnight. I guess I am trying to defend my reliablity.

    It is a nice to have a friend who things as you do. Bill


  2. Bill,
    I sincerely thank you for the thoughtful comment. My posting was about “trust” and “self-trust” and it’s importance in today’s society. Using a football metaphor, you took that and “ran 90 yard punt return for a touchdown.”

    I appreciate the time and mental effort you gave to it.

    Ron (R2)


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