This I Believe

Alex - Denver, Colorado
Entered on October 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: integrity

I recently changed schools from a tiny twenty- five person class to a larger one hundred person class. An even bigger change for me is the lack of trust I find in my new peers. At school I live in constant fear of having my text book or calculator stolen. A few recent incidents have caused me to become more protective of my belongings. This lack of trust in others is a big deal to me. I used to be able to trust my peers. But now I’m left to question the morals of others.

Another incident that left me feeling violated and infuriated occurred at my own house. During remodeling, items such as alcohol and packages have gone missing. These stolen objects have left me skeptical of the workers in my house. I’d like to believe adults would be more mature than to take another’s belongings, yet my previous encounters leave me in doubt.

People who are close to me have often borrowed items knowing I will not care. The truth is I do care. I don’t care if they ask before taking. If they ask me, I often will say yes. That doesn’t mean I trust everyone. I only trust the people I know well. It’s not easy for me to lose my trust in someone. To lose my trust, one must first lose something of mine and then lie about it. I once borrowed a friend’s book and then the book was misplaced. I knew this was completely my fault so I went to my local bookstore and bought him a brand new book. Instead of lying and having him lose his trust in me, I admitted to my mistake and replaced the book.

Responsibility is a big part of trustworthiness. If you want someone to trust you, he needs to know you are responsible. If he is not responsible and he loses your item he will not replace it. Instead he will often blame another person for the loss. Trust means you can rely on someone in hard times. If someone ruins this trust then it can never be rebuilt.

When something of mine is stolen, I tell myself “I can just take someone else’s book. I know they won’t care.” But then I think “Would I want that to happen to me?” Do to others as you would have them do to you, is a teaching from the bible. However, people do not seem to respect it.

I believe someone should earn trust by being honest and responsible. I believe I can be a role model for people to follow. By not giving into what people do around me, I can help others to make the right choice. Uncivilized society revolves around the idea of taking what you need. In order to be civilized we need to be able to trust and respect the property of others.