Trust: The Foundation of a Healthy World
“Without communication, there is no relationship.
Without respect, there is no love.
Without trust there’s no reason to continue.”
Let’s begin with this beautiful story.
One day a man went out to buy some fruits in his town in India. He noticed that on the stall there was plenty of fruit, and there was also a note. The note read: ‘”Gone to see my sick mother for a few minutes. Please take whatever fruit you want, weigh it, and leave the money under the brick on the stall.” The man thought, is this really possible in this day and age? That you can trust people to take the fruit and leave the money just like that…
His curiosity got the better of him and he looked under the brick and sure enough there was money kept there. He indeed did take some fruit, weighed it and left the right amount of money against its value. But he was curious to meet this trusting person. He hung around a few more minutes but no one arrived and so he left. He returned again in the evening, and sure enough, the fruit seller was there packing up his stall. The man asked him: “How does this work? Can you honestly trust people these days? Do you really make money or lose money?”
The fruit seller said: “Yes, I make enough money as is in my fortune.” The fruit seller went on to explain what he meant. He said: “You see, my mother is quite ill. She wants me to stay with her all day. So I asked her: ‘How can I stay with you? Who will pay the bills?’ So she had this brilliant idea to set up this stall and go spend the day with her. I come back at night and whatever is in my fortune, I take that home. Some children even leave food for my sick mother. Some people leave extra cash for medicines or notes offering their help.”
The man stood there shocked. “You see”, the fruit seller clarified, “in any job, you will only get what is in your fortune, so too, I am getting what is in my fortune. But at least I have the joy of looking after my mother and being around for her whenever she needs me. At the same time the business is running.”
What do you think? Is it possible to trust people in this day and age? Does it also not depend on what you hope to get out of life? Why can little children trust easily? It is because they are not ridden with fear. Before we approach anything, we are loaded with fear. Fear of rejection, fear of disapproval, fear of threat, fear of disappointment, fear of success, fear of … and the list goes on. All these fears and beliefs become embedded in our sub-conscious mind. Then these fears do not allow us to trust. But in some cases that is perhaps rightly so, because the behaviour of human beings is proof in itself that they can’t be trusted!!
Take for instance a simple thing like travelling… If we trusted the passengers – there would be no need to weigh their luggage to ensure they were only 20kg. If we trusted passengers to pack the right things there would be no need for the X-ray bag scanners and security to check the contents of their bags. There would be no need for a door to the cockpit of the plane – we could all breeze in and out and say: “Hi!” or “Hello!” to the captain at any time!
There are other instances also in life where if people were to be trusted there would not be a need for cameras to watch the shoplifters! In fact, there would no need for the judicial system or the police force. People in the first place would be trusted not to create conflict, and secondly if there is no conflict then there is no need for any judgement of disputes!
So is it not a vicious circle? We can’t be trusted and so our life is made even more difficult. And because it’s difficult, people try to break the rules. And because they break the rules, we can’t trust them further. At which point do we break this vicious cycle?
And who is at fault? Is it the government, the security forces, the police, or the judicial systems… that they can’t understand our predicament? Or is it us the consumer, the traveller, the citizen? Well the answer is neither! Governments are also forced to make laws to keep law and order, how they execute them is another matter. But systems and procedures are created to keep law and order in the country.
To further the idea, let’s take up travelling again. When we travel, we want to take the whole kit and caboodle. Why? Because of our fears basically! We fear we will not get what we want there, for example our special pillow or blanket. Why? It is because we feel secure when all our favourite comforts are with us.
The famous Chinese sage, Lao Tzu, writing about 2,500 years ago in his book the “Tao de Ching”, way back then he could clearly see how we become trapped in this tangled web. And yes, it is all down to a lack of faith and trust, not just in others but also in our own selves. In fact, the lack of trust in our own thinking and judgement sets us off into a world of distrust in the family, the wider community and then ultimately the world. Is this not where we are today? Our inner lack of trust of self becomes reflected in the outer world in which we live.
If a country is governed with tolerance,
the people are comfortable and honest.
If a country is governed with repression,
the people are restless and disturbed.
Try to make people happy
and you lay the groundwork for misery.
Try to make people moral,
and you lay the groundwork for vice.
From verse 58 Tao de Ching – Lao Tzu
How about if we began with the practice of trusting a little more? Trusting means that we will pack less. Trusting that everything we need will come to us. Trusting that we receive whatever is meant to be in our fortune. If we activate this positive cycle of love and trust and not fear, then we will be able to create a world of love and trust.
If we keep living in fear, we just generate more fear. Fear attracts fear. The public are afraid of the police and the police afraid of the public. The teachers are afraid of the children and the children afraid of the teachers. The animals afraid of the people and the people of the animals. Fear abounds!
Trust and the world will trust you back!
It’s Time… for us to trust. Let us learn to reduce our desires and expectations. Learn to live simply and with love and trust. Whatever is in our fortune will for sure have to come to us…
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK