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Trust – one of the primary building blocks in relationships, from friends and lovers, to politics, faith, and nation-building. It is both one of the most powerful elements in all of the above and yet it is so fragile that a single inconsistency can fracture it forever. Trust is like a perfect vase – one mistake can cost its perfection, and while we can do our best to repair it, the knowledge that it is no longer flawless shouts at us.

We live in a world where trust is under assault. Greed, envy, passion, money, power, and the belief that the winner is the one with all the chips at the end of the game, has challenged and diminished the strength of trust. But the good news is, none of the above prevents a certain percentage of people from seeking and practicing it. They are like islands in a wickedly flowing river – places of safety for swimmers cast adrift by their own desperate needs. I don’t know who said it but I love the expression: “Relationships without trust are like having a phone with no service. What do you do with a phone with no service? Play games…”

While we see little of true trust in politics and international concerns nowadays, we sometimes find it hiding in simple places, like quiet homes and country towns. There seems to be an unwritten equation that states: The more people you put together in one place, the less trust you can find, and perhaps that’s a sad statement about our species. Remember, as far as relationships are concerned, there are times when you might not trust the person you love, but you always carry a degree of love for the person you trust. It’s a rare, fragile commodity, this thing called faith in others. It can take years to develop and it can be lost in a heartbeat. Worse yet, trust is challenged by this new society that places value in subterfuge, where counterfeit is perfectly okay, if it takes you where you want to go. But for those who live by this code, I would remind you – you may never experience the trust of another soul in this lifetime. You may be forgiven on occasion, but being trusted is another story.

Ultimately one’s unconditional belief in another person may well be the greatest compliment, and the most valuable element in any successful relationship, even beyond love.

I’ll leave you with this thought: First, before you can place your trust in anyone else, you must learn to trust yourself. You must trust that you deserve love, and that you have a right to find happiness and success. You must trust that there is a greater power that will guide you. And trust your wings – know in your heart that you can fly.

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