Trustworthy

“People are good and trustworthy and generally just concerned with getting through the day,” Newmark says. If most people are good and their needs are simple, all you have to do to serve them well is build a minimal infrastructure allowing them to get together and work things out for themselves. Any additional features are almost certainly superfluous and could even be damaging.” — Craig Newmark

True leadership is a combination of initiative and humility. The best leader remains obscure, leading but drawing no personal attention. As long as the collective has direction, the leader is satisfied. Credit is not to be taken, it will be awarded when the people realize that it was the subtle influence of the leader that brought them success. —Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” — George MacDonald

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough”
— Frank Crane

“Trust that little voice in your head that says “Wouldn’t it be interesting if..”; And then do it.” — Duane Michals

“You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.” — Anton Chekhov

“One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.” — E.M. Forster

‘Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.” — Alfred Adler

‘Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” — William Shakespeare

“Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter.” –Lemony Snicket

“You can’t trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let’s have a drink” — Terry Pratchett

My usual approach to trusting people follows the old Stephen Covey line “assume that what someone is telling you is true, and then ask yourself what it could be true of”. I think most people are trustworthy. To be who they are, and not what you expect of them. If you understand who they are, then you can trust them. If you don’t understand where they are coming from, you don’t know if you can trust them or not. But trusting someone does not necessarily mean that you will trust them with everything — only with the things you know they can handle. I think this made raising my kids easy for me — I knew who they were and what I could trust them with. I never approached them from an attitude of distrust. But I did teach them very early on not to lie to me, and to always let me know where they were. I trusted them, but not always their friends. And taught them not to hang around friends who weren’t worthy of their trust. I hope they have always been able to trust me, too.

I find it sad that we live in a society where misleading others or lying to them is often rewarded. And my own deepest regrets are the times I may have misled others or misused their trust in me. If I give someone my word today, it matters a great deal to me, and I feel the worst when I have to break an agreement I’ve made with someone, even if for very good reasons.