As I share this story about twins that are ten years old it’s a heart-warming example of how respect and trust do matter. I was asked by one of the twins if I would help them get new school ID’s that cost $10. I only had a twenty on me, so I gave it to them. Usually, when I help in this manner, I do expect the remainder to be returned, even though often it’s not. So, I was presently surprised that one of the twins told me that they had the other $10 to return. It was over the weekend that this happened. So, I was expecting them to maybe spend the money on junk food. Yet, this didn’t happen, so I said it was ok for them to split $5 and then give the other $5 to any of the homeless that usually are outside the new large Circle K in our neighborhood.
I was so jazzed that these twins understood that for me to trust them again with money that they needed to respect my wishes with the money. I know that trust is something that takes time to actually earn from a new friend or re-establish with an older friend. I’m so fortunate to have so many volunteers or interns that walk with our kids and teens. One of my newer friends who volunteers, Gelila, is an incredible young woman who shares her passion about real life with our group. She recently shared about how important it is to stand up to stereo types and not allow prejudice or racism to push you to act in an inappropriate fashion, where you live as others expect.
What’s incredible, is because she has hung out with our kids and teens, she has gained their trust and now they respect her voice! Sadly, too often people assume because of their stature or age that others ought to listen to their opinions or voice. Yet, until I have gotten to know someone and see whether they are trust worthy this determines my ability to have a transparent relationship with them.
I know that after grad school in my young 30’s I would often get frustrated with older men who were leaders that wouldn’t respect or give my opinion a real consideration. As I have aged, I’ve come to see that part of the dynamic of trust and respect is that it works both ways. I can see how as a young leader, looking back, I was a little arrogant or too self-assured which did push away my older friends and their ability to hear me.
I know that respecting a person’s privacy, space, possessions and views is so important. It’s too easy to slam someone too quickly because of my personal biases being on the opposite end of the spectrum. If I desire to befriend someone who does have a different life expression, I must be willing to listen and learn from them to gain their respect and trust. This isn’t going to happen if my purpose in listening is just to have a quick come back to put them down.
I was so appreciative of these twins’ expression of gratitude when it comes to their response to help. I was humbled when the one texted me and said a big thanks and complimented me for caring.
WOW – respect and trust work!