House on struts and gravel pathIn every dealing with another, there is a relationship of some kind. Everyone values trust within a relationship, be it personal or professional.

Many might talk around the subject of ‘trust’ as the foundation of relationships; it lays out expectations on which others can base decisions and actions, so moving the cogs of friendship, love, or business, forward.

What could our relationship be without trust?

But I don’t see trust as a monolithic item that can either be gained or lost. Trust is a many layered matter, influenced by context and purpose, not only personality.

I trust my friends with my life, but I might not trust all of them with my book collection.

I trust my dog with everything in our home, but I might not trust hir with everything in your home.

I trust my intentions with every plant I care for, but I cannot trust my horticultural knowledge at all times.

Verse 49 of the Tao Te Ching counsels to be good to the good, and good to the bad. Because our actions and way of being is our concern; how others choose to act and be is their concern.

We can know who to trust by trusting everyone. If this seems reckless then remember that trust is not monolithic. Besides, you can always trust people to be people – and that includes selfish natures and poor performance – everything that makes up humans.

Trust is not the one, single foundation stone of a relationship, it is the gravel path. Some paths are wider and deeper than others, some are muddy and wet.

You can walk this path with care by being prepared to fix any problem yourself. So if you trust a friend to house sit while you’re away for a time, be prepared to care for any plants that suffer at their unskilled hands. Why blame your friend and withdraw all trust over a single matter that you can take accountability for? Maybe don’t trust that friend with your quail chicks.

Give trust to create trust; trust the gravel of the path; be accountable for any disappointments, and don’t be disappointed – be yourself regardless of others.

Image credit: Wunkai

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