"Sticking one's head inside the open mouth of an elephant to check out its tonsils can be an extremely dangerous thing to do and undoubtedly involves exercising a good degree of trust. However, compared to other aspects in one's life, it doesn't even begin to register on the 'trust barometer scale.'
Indeed, living one's life positively involves exercising much more trust than you could ever imagine. Living with and loving a best friend, parent, partner, spouse or child will necessitate you giving out more trust than sticking your head inside a herd of hungry wild elephants.
The first people we learn to trust are our parents, but as the poet Philip Larkin says in 'This be the verse', our mum's and dads often 'mess up' (polite description), our lives much more than we could ever realise.Then we trust our very best friend from meeting them at the age of 5 years, which works great until you reach your mid teens and they become smitten by the same member of the opposite sex as you do. When love comes in the window, trust and friendship will invariably tend to go out the door! When at last we find a partner to live with or marry, we invest all our trust in their honesty and fidelity. Indeed, I have often heard those spoken words,' Me and Fred have been together 30 years and I trust him completely.' While Fred's wife no doubt believes what she says, 'trust' will most probably have played less part in him remaining faithful to his marriage vows than him never having had the temptation or opportunity to be otherwise! Then, there's our children. Do we really trust them not to experiment with or do all of those things we experimented with or did behind our parent's backs when we were teenagers growing up?
Paradoxically, 'trust' will play no real part in our lives until we have been wronged by the very person we are asked to trust. 'Trust' will never become operative in our lives until it has first been given by us and has been breached and broken by the person we trusted.
Consider this situation: Fred suddenly decides to start attenting night classes after he's been married ten years and the marriage has started to lose its gloss. He leaves home at 7pm and returns from night class around 10.30pm after calling in for the customary drink with a few of the other students. Then after six months of Fred attending night class, you learn that he's been having an affair with Jenny (one of the woman at the same night class as Fred). That knowledge breaks your heart as you always trusted him to be faithful to his marriage vows.
After much talking and soul searching, plus the promise by Fred that he will never stray again, you and Fred decide not to separate, but instead seem determined to give your marriage/relationship another chance.
One year later, Fred decides to go back to night classes. Although somewhat uneasy, you agree. Then one night when he misses the last bus home after attending the pub for a drink after night class, he is given a lift to his front door by another night class student as it is pouring with rain. As the car door slams and Fred enters the house, his wife notices that the person who kindly dropped him off was Jenny, who ironically, she later learns, also enrolled to attend the same night class as Fred!
Now, it is at this precise moment when her 'trust' in Fred truly becomes operative for the very first time in their relationship. Will she trust him to act faithfully at night class next week as she watches him leave the house or will she expect him not to attend night class again while Jenny still goes there?" William Forde: April 6th, 2014.