Confidence. How much power lies in this word. It is curious that as much as we hold this term in such high regard and is so ingrained in society, there are not a few people I have met along the way who seem to be afraid to trust. Indeed, some have warned me that my interactions with others tend to be too innocent. They say I “trust others too much. But how much is too much? That observation gave me pause to reflect and question what is really true, whether I should take their advice and be more… cautious? distrustful? How would you explain the distrust? It seems like a clever way of saying be on the lookout. But alert to what? Is it more accurate for my own good to expect the worst from others, just in case? By thinking this way we are unconsciously putting into practice the sad but famous saying “think badly and you will be right”. What if we turn it around? What if we turn it into “think right and you will be right”?
This reflection has brought to mind Henry Ford’s phrase:
“Whether you think you can or cannot, you are right.”
I have shaped it to my liking by bringing back the key theme of this article, trust:
“Whether you expect the best or the worst from others, you’ll be right.”
With our way of seeing others we confirm our own suspicions. Surely it is much harder for us to discover the positive side of people, their good intentions, their improvement and all that they are still capable of contributing. It is really worrying that this popular saying has been a premise in so many mouths. I have personally heard it repeatedly in my life. Why has it permeated society so much with such a negative connotation? What is it really conveying to us? Many times I reflect that the events of the world do not cease to be a reflection of the way we see it. But I am encouraged to remind myself that we can always make the decision to see it differently and that this does not make us any less realistic.
One of the most powerful and beautiful ways to begin is to change the eyes with which we look at others. Let’s take ourselves as an example. Surely there are things we have done or perhaps not done that we regret. Perhaps we have not acted in the best way at some point, but we are aware that our potential is much greater than what we have expressed, regardless of the circumstances. Our own worth is little compared to the fact in question. We are much more than our actions. Now, imagine someone judging you for those actions. How close do you think that judgment would come to you? You were not expressing who you really are, it was just a reflection of the conflicts and struggles you have with yourself on a daily basis.
“It takes a lot of work to build a good reputation and only a bad one to lose it.Bejamin Franklin
But we evolve, we learn, we improve. And the greatest evolution originates through trust, towards ourselves and towards others. Don’t you think that pigeonholing someone for his actions is undoubtedly unfair? Do we know how that person was at that moment? What he felt? What experiences has he had throughout his life? Like Don Quixote fighting windmills, we fight illusory giants. What sets us apart is how far we’ve come on the battlefield. Let us not forget that we are all united by the same contest. In the face of this shared challenge, the most humane thing would be to reach out and face it together.
“If you want to go fast, walk alone, if you want to go far, go with others.”Ancient African proverb.
Perhaps to many it may seem like a utopia. But there were many utopias in the past until they were no longer utopias. Imagine how far we could go if trust came before irrational fear of ourselves, of the human being himself. Doesn’t it sadden you too how little faith we have in humanity? The world is full of examples where love and faith in others has led to great transformations. Feeling vulnerable is not easy to cope with, but from that point on we come closer to a more empathetic, compassionate, more humane vision. I prefer to see my world through the eyes of trust, where I always expect the best from others. Without a doubt, I think it is a much nicer world to live in.