Trust must be earned over time; bit by bit, day by day, project by project. You can’t really buy it, any more than you can buy time. It's an incredibly powerful concept. And while it takes days, months, and years to build, it can only take a moment to lose. Thus, trust is also one of the most fragile connections in life.
Showing up every day or every week to write a blog post builds trust with my readers. Being there for your kids when they need you earns their trust. Going to your friend’s party, even when you feel like staying in, nourishes a certain kind of friendship trust. There are lots of these little examples of things that we do for each other, for no other reason than to preserve this sacred bond.
But when your trust is violated, it can cause a great amount of physical or psychological pain. Attempts to rationalize someone’s betrayal only makes things worse, as you can’t possibly comprehend what would compel someone to be so reckless, careless, or spiteful. Yet, out of all this pain, you can learn a great deal about a person's morality.
Earning trust with someone also grows your reputation. Your reputation then, is like a more scalable form of trust. For example, you might know nothing about the upcoming Pixar film, but the name “Pixar”, means something to you. The incredible power behind a good name can make a huge difference throughout your life. It’s something to really consider, cherish, and explore deeper.
Try to give someone in the city $10, in exchange for $1. Or even better, just tell them you want to give them free money. They’ll avoid you like the plague. Because every interaction they’ve ever had where someone wants to “give away money” has been fake. But, if you decide to surprise your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day with free chocolate, they’ll gladly accept your gift. The only difference here is trust.
Think about this idea, and the component of time necessary to earn trust. Like a garden, it grows slowly, and only with great care and attention. You must plant the seeds of trust today, to enjoy the shade tomorrow.