Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Trust Me... If You Can...

George MacDonald said, "To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved."

Over the past few months, I have been feeling so overjoyed at being reunited with many of the people I consider as friends, that have, at some point or rather, been a fellow traveller along this journey I call my life. Most of them I have known even before I entered adolescence. After more than 25 years have passed by between us, fate has arranged our steps to lead to a crossing of paths again. Those close to me will vouch how much I treasure old friends. I believe that friendship is like a well aged cheese. The taste get better and stronger with time.

Ralph Waldo Emerson also said, "The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship."

It is in my nature to trust and think well of people. The longer I've known them, the deeper the trust I have in them. This is because, to my reasoning, if I have known someone for the majority of my years on earth, they are as good as my brother or sister. I should honor and cherish that friendship as I would my blood ties with my own siblings. I would rather be proven wrong for trusting and thinking well of someone than to be proven wrong for distrusting someone and thinking badly of them.

Frank Crane said, "You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don't trust enough."

But in a span of a few weeks, two of my old and treasured friends have betrayed me. One, abused my trust. The other, didn't trust me. I can't begin to describe how much that hurt my confidence in the goodness of mankind. Now my nights are filled with tiresome and disturbing dreams that echoes these betrayals. Is it a coincidence that they both went to school together? That they were of the same skin color? Has the breakdown in their marriages caused them to be so hurt and hence hurtful? Am I being a bigot or a racist for having these thoughts cross my mind and contaminating my reveries?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Our distrust is very expensive." "Self-trust is the first secret of success."

I've intertwined this blog entry with quotes about trust. This is my way of healing myself from this pain of betrayal. However, in reading what Cardinal De Retz said, "A man who doesn't trust himself can never really trust anyone else", I've come to a realization that it's not my problem if people have trouble trusting themselves and in doing so, they cannot bring themselves to trust others. They are the ones with trust issues. But, why does this burden my heart so terribly?

Samuel Johnson said, "It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust."

Is this enough to heal a wounded heart that has been speared by the lance of distrust? Is it worth my while to keep on trusting people? How much is too much trust? How little is too little? Is there any way we can guard ourselves from betrayal without cutting ourselves out and depriving our spirits from the nourishment of a refreshing friendship?

From this experience, I've come to understand that the quality of the friendship cannot be measured by the length of it. Because the years spent apart may have a role to play in changing the person we once called a friend and turning them into perfectly familiar strangers. I don't know those two friends anymore. Their appearances may have aged through time. But they are no longer the friends that I grew up with. The friends I knew have ceased to exist in these two people. I don't know them anymore. And I don't talk to strangers.

"Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement." - Alfred Adler

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