If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s been a long time, probably too long, since I’ve met a friend over a cup of coffee. Then I’d proceed to chew your ear off about a lot of things happening in my life. But we’re not having coffee, so I’ll restrict this to my musings on earning trust.

The first thing on my list is to tell you that we finally got our little pup (more about her in another post) spayed this morning. It almost broke my heart to see the trust in her eyes as her mouth was tied and she was prepped for surgery. As if she knew that we would only have her undergo the pain, because we wanted what was good for her.

It brought back memories of the time we had to put our old dog down as he was suffering from severe arthritis and could hardly move. He passed away in my arms looking at me trustingly.   (At times like these, you wish you didn’t have pets – for all the joy they bring, there’s also the deep sense of attachment and consequent loss when they leave us.)

The trust of animals is a precious gift and one that we earn as we care for them. As one of my favourite authors said:

I wish people would realize that animals are totally dependent on us, helpless, like children, a trust that is put upon us. – James Herriot

Thinking of trust, my mind wanders to another loss – the death of a young maid in our housing colony. I often saw her around and even spoke to her a couple of times. The last time I bumped into her, the girl seemed lost and didn’t make eye contact despite my attempt to smile at her.

I learnt that her family had taken a loan for her sister’s wedding and it fell upon this young girl to repay it. So she took a job in another city, where while she worked and earned, she also learned to dress much smarter. When she came back to her home city, trying still to repay her loan, the creditor, an uncle of sorts, decided he wanted to marry her. He had a wife and three daughters around the age of this girl! One night the wife and daughters of this man, landed at her doorstep and began to berate and abuse her for supposedly enticing their husband/father. Unable to bear the shame that was really not hers at all, she hanged herself that very night.

I heard the story only weeks after her death. It saddened me to think that this young woman had no one she could trust with her problem. Possibly, shame prevented her from sharing. If she told any one of her employers this, they might have sought police protection for her….. But I’m not sure what the nature of her relationships with her employers were. I only wish that there was at least one person who had earned her trust.

How do we earn the trust of people we meet on a day to day basis? How do we let them know that we can be there for them? This truly is something for all of us to think about. 

“How do you build trust? Trust is earned when everyone’s interests are considered and respected. Communication is the key to do this.” – Sheri Levit


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