The trust issue: I’ve been wrestling with it lately. Maybe I’ve always been subconsciously struggling with it, but circumstances in recent times have perhaps brought the issue to the forefront and forced me to deal with it.
In years past, we’ve trusted con men/women and have been burned, but brushed it off as a “lesson learned.” But was the lesson truly “learned?” Nope. We still trust when maybe we shouldn’t. We’ve always been of the mindset to never become cynical, but times are a-changin’! Not all the times we’ve been burned have been from intentional perpetrators of our trust. Sometimes we’ve simply trusted someone who was young and thoughtless, stemming from the idea of helping them.
One case in point, was when we made our cross-country move a few months ago. We were under a very tight budget, and could only fill 1000 cubic sq. ft. of the moving truck. Trying to fit a 3000 sq. ft home into that tiny space was an impossible feat. We had to get rid of a LOT of stuff! We were both working right up until the weekend of the move, and so packing up the household with such limited time, was a daunting task, and one we didn’t perform very well, to be honest. We were incredibly tired and stressed.
We put some furniture and other items for sale online, and a young couple who had just gotten married and moved to the area and had nothing to begin with, bought an entire living room set from us, and a few other things. They were lonely and didn’t know anyone in the area, and they were very young. He was a military veteran, and she was the same age as our daughter. We hit it off! She would bring her young daughter (from a previous relationship) to our home whenever I asked, to help me pack things and haul things to Goodwill. If it weren’t for that young couple, we could not have finished emptying our house by the moving deadline, that’s for sure! The day we left, they even rented a U-Haul box truck to load the last of our stuff left over after the moving truck had already left. They were an invaluable help! We gave them so much stuff, it was ridiculous! The young husband was getting a little edgy by how much stuff we were giving to fill their empty house. We did that, for sure! When cleaning out the storage room of last-minute boxes, we realized we had some extremely sentimental, lifelong possessions (irreplaceable) which we failed to put on the truck. This young couple promised to send those boxes to us at our new address, because there was no way we could fit another box into our already overloaded cars. They wanted to do it as a thank you for showering them with so many household items they were so desperately in need of, even though we insisted on paying them the cost of shipping them.
We trusted them to keep their word. And why wouldn’t we? They had been such an invaluable help to us throughout the many days of frantically packing, and we had been an invaluable help to them as well. He was working in the oil field, she had just found out she was pregnant, they were starting a brand new life together, and all was well… or so it seemed.
We said goodbye that day. They left in the box truck to go through it and keep what they wanted, and then give the rest to Goodwill. We left in our overloaded cars with our animals and what little possessions we could carry, and hit the road for the long journey across the country.
As we settled into our new place, started our new jobs, unpacked what we could, we heard from them less and less. Texts and calls weren’t returned and communication attempts went unheeded… and no boxes arrived with our priceless sentimentals. I began to get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I finally got a return text from the young lady, who informed me that she had left her husband, fled to another state to be with her mother, she and her husband were no longer on speaking terms, and her husband was at that moment, moving out of the house they were renting. I asked about my boxes, and you guessed it: she had no idea, but promised to text her estranged husband to ask him about the boxes, and…
…. crickets! Silence. Not a word since. I had to emotionally process the loss of things so precious to me that can never be replaced. Family heirlooms, hard-earned keepsakes, etc. I was sickened by it, and kicking myself to no end, in trusting young people like that. But they needed our help and we needed theirs.
The glaring question that forces its way into my brain is a constant, “Whatever happened to the generations of men/women who keep their word?!”
Whatever happened to committment, honesty, and a trust that allows people to “shake on it” and be assured that their word will be kept?!
I look back to the time that we were their age, and its like traveling back in time to a different world. We would have never gone back on our word. We were also married, responsible, holding down jobs, setting up a household, and we didn’t have nearly the help that we gave them. There was no way we would have ever let something like that slip without keeping our word, and dropping all communication. It would have been a capital offence to do something like that in our day.
I’m mourning the loss of more than just our “stuff.” I’m mourning the loss of an entire generation who has such disregard for ethics and honesty. I desperately want to trust others, but am struggling with the knowledge that I first have to verify, then trust. No longer can we trust then verify.
If you are a millenial and have been raised to be a man/woman of integrity, honesty, committment and trustworthiness, I take my hat off to you! Please let us know you are here.
Shout it from the mountain tops and please, please, educate your peers about the importance of such a fundamental societal necessity. Our country and our world needs more young people like you to keep this sorry mess in balance. We personally did everything we could to teach the next generation those values, but there are some times when I bemoan the abhorant lack of trust necessary to keep our sanity… and I hate it.