This I Believe

Hannah - Seattle, Washington
Entered on January 17, 2007

When I was five, I scaled a forty foot climbing wall, just with my arms. I clung to that wall for dear life and refused to believe that the ropes I wore and the hands on the opposite ends of those ropes offered any support. I trusted only in myself. I had no faith in that person who held my life in their hands. And so I climbed that entire wall all on my own, not realizing that someone had my back.

As I look back on that day, that climb, I realize how foolish I was. There was trust, standing there and looking me straight in the eye, and I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t even reach out and touch it. It meant nothing to me. But now as I think about it, I can fully appreciate how vital trust is. Without trust the world we live in would become an unrecognizable place. Islands, every man to his own. There would be nothing. No love, no interaction of any sort. Of course, if you want to get technical, there would be no war, no conflict, because no person could rely on any other for assistance. People would sink into themselves, becoming no more than fearful beings capable of nothing. Paranoia would rule. And the human race would die.

So, perhaps you see more clearly now, what life would be without contact, connection, human touch and trust. Just a nagging sense of apprehension, which doesn’t sound very promising.

I guess one could say that despite its meaning, trust is a shifty subject. There are misconceptions and various beliefs about what trust really is. I mean, it’s different for all of us. During an exercise in language arts the other day, groups of students had to circle various statements, determining whether or not they were true for each individual. And, even though I’m sitting here, scribbling out an entire essay on trust, I was the only group member to agree, “you can’t depend on any one else, only yourself”. This is because I believe that dependence and trust are two completely different things. You can’t depend on someone to be there for you all the time, but this doesn’t mean you wouldn’t trust them with your life. You see what I’m saying?

I don’t want to sound too important saying this. I mean I haven’t been through any dire circumstances that have tested the power of trust. I’m not anyone special trying to convince the world to believe in it. I’m just stating my opinion that having someone to lean on, a shoulder to cry on, knowing friends have got your back is very important, and I don’t know, maybe some of you will agree with me, but there is one thing I’m certain of, this I believe.