Last week I told my parents I would miss school the next day to go paint a golf cart. They believed me. The next day when I got home from the art field trip, we were laughing about how that’s not something parents hear every day. We also talked about trust. My parents trust me because I’ve built up a reputation of telling them the truth and following through on what I say I’ll do. I admit, a lot of times I’ll forget to clean my room, but I get around to it. When I say, “I’ll make sure my room is clean before I have friends over,” it happens.
Trust is the foundation of all good relationships. For instance, I trust my best friend completely. I can tell her anything in confidence and I know she will always help me out in any situation.
The simplest way be trusted is to keep your word and tell the truth. Once when one of my friends made a promise to me and didn’t follow through, I was really upset. It wasn’t a big thing, but I felt lied to. I’ve since forgiven them, but it’s been months and I still don’t trust them as much as I did before.
Trust is a lot like making deposits in a bank account. You make these deposits over time in a relationship thru your actions. When you do something to break someone’s trust, it is as if you are making a withdrawal from your relationship bank account. The more deposits you have in your account, the less impact a withdrawal has.
Like other mess-ups in life, trust can be broken quickly, then can take much longer to restore. For instance, I have a tornado-like 2-year-old brother. He can spill a gallon of milk in two seconds flat while your back is turned, then of course it takes several minutes to mop it all up and restore order.
The process of restoring trust is a lot like cleaning up a mess. For example, let’s say one of my friends broke a confidence and told a boy that I liked him (true story ...). How could she clean up that mess and restore my trust? She could apologize to me, and maybe explain to the boy that she had broken a confidence and was sorry. Then she could work to regain my trust by making more deposits in our trust account by following thru on promises and showing herself to be trustworthy again. It might take some time before our relationship returned to the same balance as before, but it would be worth the effort.
By focusing on being trustworthy, I have built up strong relationships with my family and friends. I’m especially glad I have a good, trusting relationship with my parents. I better go make another trust deposit and clean my room now.
This column is the opinion of Claire Kincaid, a sophomore at Soldotna High School.
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“Verbatim,” an opinion column written by student contributors, will resume next fall. Interested in contributing? For more information, contact Clarion editor Will Morrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.