Trust Me

As the father of two teenage boys I can tell you that as much as I try to pass along wisdom and advice, I find that I learn just as much from them.  Recently our 16-year-old got in trouble for an incident that caused us to ground him.  A lot of our conversation afterward was about trust.  I told him it takes a long time to build trust and it can be broken in a heartbeat.   The rules we have are ultimately for one thing, his safety.  When he breaks the rules he breaks the trust and puts himself at risk.  

I asked him to write an answer to this question:  What is trust?  I wanted him to be thoughtful about what had happened and to learn from it.   If he could articulate what trust means and why it matters it would hopefully serve him well in the days and months ahead.  I couldn’t be prouder of what he wrote.  I asked his permission to post it because there is great wisdom in his words.   I share it with you to pass along to your children.

The two most relevant definitions of “trust” in the dictionary are:

1.  Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence

2.  Confident expectation of something; hope.

Hope.  Now, there’s a word that sticks out.  Hope is a word that can be easily and directly associated with trust.  You can’t have trust without hope, and you can’t have hope without trust.  It is an effective antithesis which allows for the two to be elaborated on similarly.

Hope is not concrete.  For one to have hope, there must be some uncertainty.  This is what makes hope so profound.  If parents trust their kids, they have hope that their kids will make the right decision.  But along with that hope, there exists some doubt; some intuition in the back of their mind something will go wrong.

If trust is broken, hope is lost.  And once the parents lose hope, it takes a while to become hopeful again.

Trust is like a castle made out of toothpicks in a land where there are no enemies or any natural elements that can blow the castle over.  The only way that the castle can be destroyed is for the person living inside to make a mistake.  One mistake.  This is what makes trust so important:  the fact that one wrong move can send the castle to the ground.

The great thing about trust, though, is that it can be restored.  In a metaphorical sense, the castle of toothpicks can be rebuilt.  The process may be arduous, but the fact of the matter is that trust is not lost forever.

You can live in the remnants of the broken castle, sure, but does anyone really want to live in something that you have personally destroyed?

Nobody wants to live in something that is broken.  Kids who are not trusted by their parents live in brokenness.

The castle is worth being rebuilt, and I will be constantly rebuilding it these next few weeks until every last toothpick is back in its original spot.

Hopefully, by the time it is fully restored again, there will even be a few more toothpicks added for extra fortification.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ron on October 11, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Good answer. He’s obviously Barb’s son. Thank God you’re off the political ravings. Is one blog a trend?

    Reply

  2. Just whatever rambles through my head. The political ravings will continue up to the election. There are enough whack jobs campaigning that I can’t help pointing them out. Once the elections are done I will be posting more “normal” stuff.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Craig on October 12, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Impressive.

    Reply

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