I struggled with the title for this one. One of the thoughts I had was that I believe in being a man of my word. If I can say I’m going to do something, I most likely will, and if I shake hands on it, for me that’s as binding as any contract I’ll ever sign. But that really goes to trust, because regardless of how much I value my word, it only matters if you value my word.
Trust is hard to earn, easy to lose, and that’s what makes it so valuable. Earning it isn’t something you can game very much in my experience, over time you get a feel for who has an agenda and it’s almost like they are trying to build trust just so that they can break the rules somewhere later down the line.
I don’t find being worthy of trust particularly hard. I’m often quietly amazed at people that seem to have the attitude of ‘I’ll never see them again so what does it matter?’. Regardless of whether karmic retribution ever happens, it’s not about what they think, it’s about what you think of yourself.
There’s a quote attributed to the Texas Rangers I remember from a novel I read somewhere (L’Amour maybe) that I couldn’t find on the internet exactly, but I’ll write it as I remember it:
Say what you mean, mean what you say, and cover the ground you stand on
Being worthy of trust means following through when you don’t have to, following through when no one would know that you didn’t, when it. Why? Because it’s who you are, and so whether someone is paying attention doesn’t have the slightest bit to do with what you do.
Of course, no one is perfect, and that means sooner or later you’ll fail, due to accident, distraction, or weakness of character. When that happens you work to rebuild trust, knowing that the work repairs you as much as is repairs the broken trust.