Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Thing About Trust

Many years ago, I went out to dinner with my brother and his family.  His youngest, now married, was in a high chair.  She said her food was too hot and pushed it towards my brother.  Dutifully, he took it and blew on it to cool it off.  When he felt it was sufficiently cool enough, he pushed it back in front of his daughter, who picked up a spoon and began to eat it without testing the temperature herself.


As a first year teacher, I gave my students an assignment and walked around the classroom helping this student or that student.  I worked my way towards the back of the room and overheard two students talking.  One said, “I don’t get this.”  The other student looked over at his paper and said, “Ask Joe.  He’ll help you with it.”


My first year as a head coach, we played for a state consolation championship.  It was close: a one or two point margin.  In my quiet, subtle manner, I got on the ref who graciously gave me a technical foul- with a smile, as I recall.  The other team put their best player on the line who missed both.  They tried to inbound the ball, but we intercepted and we scored.  In fact, we scored the next six in a row and we won.  After the game, my senior captain, Tony, came to me and said, “Nice game, Coach.  That technical foul?  Brilliant!  It fired us up!”  Um . . . okay.  Not what I had intended.  I actually thought I had lost the game for us.  Actually relieved that we had won it despite my stupidity.


Kids are fearless.  It doesn’t matter if they are fearless in and of themselves or if they are fearless with respect to others.  They do things that we, adults, cringe at.  We did things that, looking back, we cringe at and hope no one ever repeats or finds out about.

The Thing About Trust is that it is earned, not commanded.  Sort of like respect in that regard.  Once that trust has been damaged, it is hard to earn back.  Once we’ve been burned, it is hard to give that trust back to the one who burned us.  We might forgive.  But, honestly, do we really ever forget?

Trust is sort of like a mustache.

I had one once or twice in my lifetime.  It takes a long time for it to look good.  In my case, it could be argued whether or not I ever looked good with a mustache.  But while it takes a long time to grow in, trim and take care of, it only takes two or three minutes to shave it off.  A week or two or more to grow.  Two or three minutes to shave it off.

Trust is like that.

It needs to be taken care of.  Respected.  A precious commodity.  Treated as if it were gold.  Because the reality is, Trust is more valuable than gold.

Trust is a belief between two people that we’ll take care of each other.  That we’ve got each other’s back.  Once that Trust is damaged and broken, do we ever feel that way again?  It takes a long, long time for Trust to develop again . . . if it ever does.  Don’t ever treat it lightly or take it for granted.  Once gone, it’s gone!

The Thing About Trust is a genuine care and concern for another.  The Thing About Trust is a belief that I’ll be safe with you and you can be safe with me.  All of me and all of you:  my ideas, my strengths, my weaknesses, my vulnerabilities.  All of me.  All of you. 

The Thing About Trust is that it matters!  Treat it as such.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!


  1. I liked your trust post!

    Trust is like a glass of water: either I am adding to it or taking from it. Got to keep some water in it or the relationship is over, but if you have too much water, it just flows out everywhere. Rodney

  2. Mr. Lewis – thank you for sharing these powerful thoughts with the word Trust. Just a few weeks ago, I made use of this “power word” with two professional baseball teams during Baseball Chapel. I was humbled by its significance as I studied, prayed and reflected on it. Thank you for bringing that back to us in sharing these thoughts! Felix


Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe