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A Valentine’s Day Resolution: Learn to Trust

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.” — Frank Crane, author

I’ll never forget a blog post I read about the power of trusting. It featured a story about a taxi cab driver, who tricked a woman and ended up stealing her backpack that contained $500 worth of possessions.

The woman’s friend proclaimed that they needed to “trust people less.” But the woman thought that suggestion sounded awful. Instead, she stated:

Spending $500 every once-in-a-while is a small price to pay to be able to continue trusting people. … I'll consider the loss to be part of my optimism tax. I sporadically pay this fee (when people take advantage of my trust in goodness) in exchange for optimistic freedom. I would be less at-risk if I concentrated more on the negatives. "What if _____ happens?" But it's not worth it. The cost to my quality of life(by worrying more) is far more expensive than the cost of losing some stuff.

I loved the story because it conveyed the struggle we, as a society, go through everyday. Power structures, stereotypes, the mainstream media — they all instill in us such unnecessary fear that we form an inclination to distrust others. These fears control the way we live and destroy our sense of unity and love for others.

As gun control sparks a national debate, I think of this story. People think they need guns for “self-defense” — but at what cost? I’d rather remain weaponless, trust others and die from a gunshot wound than ever use such a violent weapon on another being. (And though I applaud the concept of resisting a tyrannical government — newsflash: we already have one, with such vast weaponry they can probably zap you and your little gun from outer space).

That is just one example. There are a countless number of ways our fears consume us. For instance, just talking to others creates such an extreme amount of anxiety in people that they become less social. Maybe sometimes you’ll get a weird look or an unwelcoming vibe — but, despite popular belief, most times humans actually want to talk to other humans. But we fear trusting others with our vulnerability — so we shy away.

Let’s have a Valentine’s Day Resolution: let’s choose trust this year. Let’s be sharing, open and vulnerable this year. And with this always comes love. So let’s choose love this year (and for all the years to come).

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