Last week an incident with my neighbours nearly broke my trust in people, but then I reminded myself how many years ago while directing a play, I saw a bedraggled fellow standing at the entrance to the hall. “What do you want?” I asked.
“Money to go back to my home town and food. I haven’t eaten in days!” I gave him some money but towards evening, as we were leaving my play cast saw the same fellow begging in a bus stop close by and we realized he was a professional beggar. “See!” one of them shouted, “you’ve been fooled Bob, I hope you’ll be careful from now on.”
“Careful about being fooled or careful about giving money?” I remember asking, “I will certainly be careful about looking deeper to see how genuine the case is, but I wouldn’t want this incident to stop me helping others. I would prefer continuing to trust people than to be suspicious of every one!”
Are you aware of the trust factor? The higher your trust factor is – the higher will be your level of life satisfaction. What we have to do is to continue trusting even after trust has been broken. Its difficult, very difficult maybe, but works well.
In 1950 a man calling himself F. Barn Morrison went to Wetumka, Oklahoma, and persuaded local residents to put up money to bring a circus to town. They did not know Morrison, but trusted his word. Morrison sold advance tickets. The townspeople were ecstatic at the thought of a circus in their very own town! Children could hardly sleep at night.
Unfortunately, ecstasy turned into misery when Mr. Morrison slipped quietly away with all the money. There would be no circus. The townspeople were simple victims of misplaced trust. They were devastated, broken and started becoming suspicious, not only of strangers but of each other, till someone came up with the idea of holding a four-day celebration anyway.
They called their celebration, The Sucker Festival. In a display of good-natured fun, people celebrated the fact that they’d been suckered big time!
The Sucker Festival, or Sucker Day, has been held most every year since. The Wetumka fold even tried for a number of years to contact the so-called Mr. Morrison so they could invite him to the festival – but he was nowhere to be found.
Modern society chips away at trust. We teach our kids in school about “Stranger danger.” We feverishly guard our identities against theft. People we don’t know we cast under clouds of suspicion. Yet trust is a vital part of successful living.
The trust factor teaches that the happiest and most successful people share two traits: they are Trustworthy and they are Vulnerable, but my dear friends I think they are real people..!
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