“There’s No Need to be Stupid About It”

“Trust people to be who they are, and not who you want them to be.” ~ Richard Templar

  The “period during which we function” known more familiarly as life, is full of contradictions. Richard Templar, author of “The Rules to Break” illustrates this clearly in his book. His Rule number 83 says: “Trust everybody”, while Rule number 84 on the very next page states unequivocally: “Trust no one.”

 Confusing?  On the surface, yes, but once he explains his concepts it makes sense.  He theorizes that, “Trust is a wonderful feeling, with all the love and security it brings, so why deny yourself? That way lies madness.” And who in their right mind would choose madness (although I have often thought of it as an interesting alternative to sanity.) But on the next page of his book, he says, “…I can contradict myself if I like”, telling us that “Trust is a personal thing, and it has a lot to do with nuances and intuition about the person in question. Trust people to be who they are, and not who you want them to be.”

 Templar argues that “The fact is that you must be a trusting person in order to feel at ease with yourself and life” BUT, and this should be the underlying advice to anyone who takes on life as a hobby: “…there’s no need to be stupid about it.” He says that he has friends that he would trust with his life, but he would not “necessarily let them look after my cat.”

  What is a contradiction? On one hand contradictions can be ambiguities and paradoxes; on the darker side, they can be inconsistent and illogical. Ambiguities are hard to define in that they express uncertainty—or “something that can be understood in more than one way”. Paradoxes are enigmatic, puzzling, even mystical. They can readily be defined by one of my favourite sayings: “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Inconsistency and things that are not logical are harder to contend with and make trust all that more difficult.

 Templar is right on both counts—but I can simplify his wisdom down to a few words: Trust, but don’t be stupid about it.

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20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love your simplified version and couldn’t agree more :).

  2. Good advice, it links to something that I try to live by which is – always give people a second chance, but not a third (not always to be applied totally literally, it depends on the situation, but as a general guide, because I think I tend to over-trust and repeatedly give more chances even if I’ve been let down many times, and in the end it has to stop!).

    • I am similar to you in that I am too trusting–but I would rather be that than not–but like you, I try not to be stupid about it…………

  3. It really is a paradox….love so powerful and strong and so reliant upon trust – so fragile and fraught. I like the way you distilled this down to the reality of it all – tho’ I have to admit to having been stupid about it on occasion.. ;-)

    • me too, me too — too many times
      fragile and fraught is such a great description!

  4. Trust takes a while to be earned I think. For me, I’ve learned to trust my gut–that weird feeling you get in your stomach or heart area. I think that’s your soul/God speaking to you. When I’ve not listened, it’s not turned out so great. There’s different levels of trust as Templar says. Someone (from that song, Everybody’s Free) said:
    “Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts.
    Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.”
    That’s the whole trust thing for me. And yeah, as you say, “don’t be stupid about it.

    • Trust does take awhile–though it is my preferred alternative to not trusting–but we should also take some accountability in that we need to be trustworthy–I am working hard on that

  5. I do love that line… “Trust but don’t be stupid about it”…. I guess we should always keep that in mind … Diane

  6. Great way to put it. I go in trusting but I’m not naive. I have my eyes open. I don’t like to begin with an untrusting spirit. I feel like that clogs me up.

  7. I’m all for simplification (and efficiency) so I’m definitely a fan of your interpretation (though I suppose Templar should be given points for explaining himself so thoroughly). I think I have a natural tendency to dip very slowly into the waters of genuine trust and in most cases, I follow what I feel. I also think its important to learn to trust yourself before always trusting other people, which is still something I struggle with from time to time.

    • you are wise beyond your years–trusting ourselves is the first mega step to trusting others–and genuine trust is something that needs testing though when you find it–it is worth the gamble

  8. Your post reminds me of a talk I heard on TED recently about vulnerability by Brene Brown. She thinks by being vulnerable or trusting, you open yourself up and are better because of it, but she like you also said that you must chose wisely….or as you said, don’t be stupid about it.


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