Trust Me

Whatever happened to fidelity? That quality of faithfulness, dedication, loyalty, and constancy seems in short supply as we see politicians, movie stars, and business moguls regularly betray trust and exhibit bad judgment.

The professed reasons are plentiful: “just couldn’t help myself,” “wasn’t getting enough attention at home,” “momentary lapse in judgment,” or” need for treatment.” How about this one – “didn’t think I’d get caught.”

This epidemic has made us a more suspicious people.

Let’s Hear It For Trust

We firmly believe that the greatest and most important ingredient to a successful relationship is trust. If you don’t trust your boss, how can you perform well? If your boss doesn’t trust you, how far will you go in the company no matter how well you perform?  If you’re not faithful to your spouse—or if you think your spouse is not being true—how can the marriage thrive?

Imagine a world where you didn’t trust your priest, doctor, lawyer, business partner, banker, police officer or teacher. Even worse, what if you couldn’t trust your car mechanic to tighten all the bolts?—your pharmacist to put the right pills in the bottle?—your utility engineers to purify your drinking water? The fact is we assume these keepers of the trust are performing with clear minds and the best of intentions. Do we know for sure? No. We quite simply place our trust in them.

Too often we read about people on all levels of the socio-economic ladder who betray the public trust. It may be blamed on a personal failing or a lapse in moral certitude. It might be attributed to greed. Or envy.  Or jealousy. The worst part about this increasing lack of trustworthiness and fidelity is that those who should be among the best role models for your teenage son or daughter keep falling like turkeys in a shooting gallery.

Be The Hero

So how do you teach your kids to be trustworthy and faithful in a world seemingly filled by people who have the moral fiber and backbone—not to mention the hot air—of a blow-up doll? Is there anyone left who isn’t on the take—who isn’t making a deal under the table—who isn’t bending the rules to get ahead? Have we diluted our values to the point where we can comfortably shrug our shoulders, utter a feeble apology and go on as if nothing has happened?

Dad, we’re here to tell you that while we all are far from perfect, we’re still the most important models of trust and fidelity for our sons and daughters. If we’re looking outside of ourselves for a hero who walks among us, we’re wasting precious time that we could be spending being the hero. The lesson we dads need to teach over and over to our kids is that a breach of trust is a broken relationship.  Once you break the trust, it can never be fully restored.

By dads2dads

Patience & Perspective

“What’s the matter, can’t she push that piece of junk any faster? There are people out here who actually want to go somewhere!”

Tim is in a hurry. It seems to his wife Cynthia that he’s always in a rush. “If she wasn’t yakking on the phone,” Tim rattles on, “she might have an inkling of what’s going on.” They drive closer to the railroad tracks.

Suddenly the bells sound, and the gates slowly descend. “Keep going! Keep going!” Tim bounces back and forth between the steering wheel and the back of his seat. The woman in front of him stops and waits—and continues her phone conversation. “Oh great,” Tim exhales. “Here’s another 20 minutes.” He rolls down his window and yells out. “Another 20 minutes, thank you, lady!”

“Maybe we can think of this as an opportunity,” his wife encourages.

“An opportunity? Tim responds. “For what? A stroke?!”

“No,” she says, a bit hurt. “To relax. Relish the moment.”

Relish the moment. Is she kidding?

Slowly the train appears and crawls across their view. Tim fumes. Cynthia is puzzled and hurt. A cold silence falls over them.

Gain perspective

Often situations we deal with seem so critical at the time—making it through a traffic light, being first in line, seeing our team win. Yet, sometimes our insistence on a certain outcome prevents us from truly enjoying the activity in which we’re engaged. On reflection we find our perspective was skewed or our sense of crisis was misdirected. Some events, although not critically important, can produce negative outcomes by the importance we place on them.

Tim is still delayed by the train, and now there is a tense silence between his wife and him. What if Tim and Cynthia’s nine-year-old son Trevor had been in the back seat? What would the boy have learned? 

Role Model 

We recall a professional basketball player who refuted the idea that he was a role model. He was a basketball player, that’s all. His contract required him to help win games, not to be a role model for kids. He was dead wrong. Anyone who makes his or her living on that large a stage inherits that role. Like it or not, the ball player was a role model. Kids looked up to him and patterned their behavior, good or bad, after him.

 Be an example

As we’ve said before, fathers don’t operate separately from their children. We serve as role models in everything we do. Eyes are watching and ears are listening. It’s important to remember that we play a significant teaching role to our children in how we handle everyday situations. They learn from watching us.

So the next time someone is driving too slowly, the sport shop is out of your size, or your team loses, grab some perspective. Think of the other people involved, and remember the reaction you have can cap a great day and send a child a message about the best way to act.

By dads2dads