Sunday, September 9, 2012

Where Trust Begins

I call it "Logan Lifts". It's a form of exercise I developed with my grandson Logan.

What's a Logan lift?

It's quite simple, really.

You and Logan stand facing one another about a foot apart. Logan lifts his hands to sky. You reach down, placing one hand and below each of Logan's upraised arms. Logan lowers his arms and you lift him from the floor as quickly as you can, releasing him in an upward trajectory as your hands pass the top of your head. You catch him on the way down, slowing his descent to the floor and then release him.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

I always run out of gas before Logan does. I think I'm up to twenty reps. However reps seem to get more difficult over time. (Perhaps Logan is aging.) Nonetheless, Logan never tires of Logan-Lifts. He can't wait to do more.

The thing that strikes me most about Logan lifts is the degree of trust Logan places in the lifter, a.k.a, grandpa. He never expresses any hesitation, fear or doubt. He never tries to guide me through the lift in order to better ensure his safety. He just raises his hands and says, "Again!"

To me, Logan's expression of trust is the ideal. No hesitation. No fear. No doubt. It's not something that we adults do often. Rarely do we fully drop our guards, even in situations where being on guard would have little effect (e.g., flying in an airplane wondering about the qualifications of the pilot.) Over time we simply lose the capacity to trust. We second guess, double-check and scrutinize with steadily increasing frequency.

The pity of it is that we are most open to learning and growth when we fully trust those around us, at least when those around us think differently than we do.

An unfortunate side-effect of losing the capacity to trust is that you begin to surround yourself with people who think as you think and do as you do. However, when you engage someone who has a completely different perspective than yours and then fully trust her (e.g., do it her way or try what she likes), you open yourself to new experiences that you can experience in no other way.

I would go so far as to say that trust only begins when you do something in a way that seems wrong to you simply because someone else recommended it, when everything inside you is saying, "No", but you do it anyway. It's not really trust when you're doing something someone recommended because you happen to agree with them.

Don't worry, trusting in this way is not a permanent commitment. It's more of a loan. You can lend out trust for a day or an afternoon or just a meal. (Have you ever sat down at a restaurant and decided that everyone would order dinner for the person to her left?)

Also, please note that it doesn't work when faked. You trust or you don't trust; there is no try to trust.

Yeah, trust is a powerful skill.  How skilled are you?

Happy Sunday,
Teflon

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