Jim Westergren
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"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas A. Edison

My Viewpoint on Trust

"On the day we can fully trust each other, there will be peace on Earth." - L. Ron Hubbard, Writer and Philosopher

What is trust?

What is the definition for this very often sensitive, unspoken subject?

The Longman dictionary defines it the following way:

Trust Verb

  1. To believe that someone is honest and will not harm you, cheat you etc.
  2. To be sure that something is true or will happen

I would like to further define and explain this term. How and when can you believe in somebody? When can you be sure?

With these questions in mind I would like to redefine the term the following way:

Trust

  1. Verb: That consideration established after sufficient observation from the viewpoint on another so as to be certain on that persons actions or non-actions in the future.
  2. Noun: That quality built up in oneself which makes other people trust you.

I have recently realized something on the subject of trust which I find interesting. The level of trust in the society is very low, very low.

And I found a law on this:

LESS TRUST = MORE CONTROL

When we have a society as this one with police, security etc. you can easily see that the level of trust is very low.

My senior in the organization in which I work told me something interesting some weeks ago. Somebody told her that he will get something done within the next days. Then she took further actions later on to make sure it gets done and when I asked her: "Don't you trust him?" She answered "If I would trust people I would get nothing done, you have to control" And she is the in charge of the department which handles the ethics and discipline of the personnel!

A very few people fully trust each other. It is a rare quality which takes years to build up. One error and the person has to start from the bottom again.

I am in charge of files in the organization I work. I collect these files from the same type of organizations around the world and almost every week I am sending a computer message to one of this other organizations in USA. After three years of observations I now have a very good trust with this org in USA. I know that after 1-2 weeks after my computer message I will have the file on my table - I know this.

I have an idea that the trust level is lower in cities than outside cities on the country side. My mother told me once that she had seen a place to buy fruits on the country side and there was nobody there. There was sign with prices and an open cash box to pay and change money - something you would never see in a city!

So how do you build up your trust?

I have some ideas:

  1. Always keep your word once given. Even if it was not important or you have to sacrifice a lot to do it. Always keep your word. This includes contracts, debts to pay back, favors, following time etc. All agreements.
  2. Never lie. Not even jokes, never.
  3. Always help a friend in need of help to your best ability.
  4. Never do anything harmful to somebody else.

If you follow the above points strictly with no exceptions you will see that after some years people will start to trust you and you will be benefited a lot from it. If you then also get your friends to do the same and they also follow it and they get others also to follow it you will perhaps see a change.

I have in my life since I was kid been living to the above rules. My weak point has been to follow schedules and get all done which I should get done on my job but the rest I have been good to follow. It has become natural for me to the degree that the following happened some months ago with a friend of mine. I was telling him that something had happened and he told me "No, it cannot be like that". I took it almost as an insult and told him "If you think I am lying, then you don't know me".

It has even come to the point that it happened one time that somebody was calling the office I was working from another office and one staff picked up and spoke on the phone. Then he said: "Let me ask Jim, he would never lie"

Sometimes you come into situations in which you don't want to answer a certain question as it would case harm one way or another. The way to handle is to answer in such a way that it was not really answered but it seemed to answer the question and then guide the communication to another direction, but don't lie.

We can all improve on the level of trust. I remember a time I was trusting some other people and then I came in trouble myself because they didn't do what they were supposed to do. I was upset and was asking the question, can I trust people?

Now I think I found the solution to this. First of all per my above 2 definitions you have to know who to trust. And then to improve others quality of trust and the whole trick is to keep following the four points of building up trust. Violations of other people does not make it right for oneself to break these four guidelines. The person who has realized this and keeps to follow the above four guidelines (not because he is forced but because he chooses to) despite any and all things done against himself has a golden heart and I believe he will have the following priveliges:

  1. He will have many friends.
  2. People will agree with him and like him.
  3. He will very seldom feel bad. (what would he have done to feel bad?)

I want with this essay bring some awareness to the readers of it and make them taking the share of rising the trust level of man and with that I leave with this from L. Ron Hubbard:

"On the day we can fully trust each other, there will be peace on Earth."

4 Dec 2005

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About the Author Jim Westergren Jim Westergren is a Swedish web entrepreneur. He is happily married and has two lovely children. Some of his interests are web development, SEO and writing. He is the Founder and owner of TodaysWeb offering SEO, web development and manages projects such as DomainStats and N.nu. Read his ..

Design, text and CMS (N.nu) by myself.