It is easy to do the right thing when people are watching and we get credit for doing it. Oprah reminds us that REAL INTEGRITY is doing it, knowing that nobody’s going to know. Her point is we would know it, and our opinion of ourselves matters. By doing the right thing even if no one else knows, WE would know, and we have to be able to trust ourselves before we can expect anyone else to trust us.
Trust is a very fragile and yet strong emotion. It is built over a long period of time and requires of us consistent behaviors. When we say we are going to do something, we do it. When we say we did not do something, that needs to be true as well. We arrive when we say we will arrive, we clean up when we have promised to clean up, and we take care of what we said we would do before we have to be told again. Teaching people the value of trust takes time, patience and lots of understanding. However to teach it we must first practice it.
Trust is broken and dissolves very easily. One false statement, action or untruth and trust is washed away in that instant. Building it back takes even longer than when it was first built, and in truth may never be fully restored no matter how long you try. We forget that people are watching us, we are watching us. To build trust we must first see ourselves as trustworthy. We must consistently prove to our own heart and mind that we can do what we say, even when it is not convenient, easy or someone would buy our excuse. Trust is who we are when no one is looking and would find out, because WE will know. Let today’s actions be ones in which you can trust of yourself and know that others would be able to trust you as well. You go first on this one.