In my work with college-aged students, I frequently get asked the question, “How can I trust people more?” And, while I’m no expert, I have learned some thoughts and suggestions over the years myself that I typically offer to them as a means of encouragement. Not long ago, however, a student asked me a much harder question – one that I had difficulty answering initially. This student asked me, “Why trust people?”
The student was not interested in learning about how to trust people until having a decent reason why we should trust people in the first place. The longer I spoke with the student, I realized the importance of the question (and the inadequacy of my answers). After the conversation, I was left with some questions of my own. I felt convinced that we ought to trust other people, but I had a hard time articulating why.
So, after a few days of processing and doing some quick research, these are three basic principles that I realized. Hopefully they can be helpful as we each seek to answer this question for ourselves.