Friday, 23 July 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 118


For this week, I purposely tried to search for a quote about trusting someone. I first focused myself on either Darcy (for his innate mistrust) or Wentworth (for secretly being jealous for Anne Elliot going out with Cousin Elliot)… but it wasn’t quite right. Then I remember Jane Bennet, and search for quotes about her in Pemberley. And here’s what I found, which I think suits my need now.

Volume I Chapter IV on Pride and Prejudice, when Elizabeth and Jane were talking about Mr Bingley. Said Elizabeth:

"Oh! you are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in any body. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in my life.''

I often think that Jane was too goody goody sometimes, akin to Melanie Hamilton in Gone with the Wind. But… perhaps these traits are important too. Although we must be vigilant, we also must reserve faith in someone or something. Otherwise, we would end up like Elizabeth, mistrusting Darcy and trusting Wickham instead of the other way around.

I will explain it. I had a project in Bali where I talked with the local people about a conservation issue. Being a young female researcher, it wasn’t easy for me to win their trust. Some mishaps and misunderstanding also took place. Eventually, I realised it wasn’t enough for me to declare my best intentions to them. I also had to decide to trust them first, despite their external appearances (some of them were very scary for me, the first time I met them!). And indeed, lo and behold! Once I decided to trust them and trust my best intentions at the same time, better things happened. We started to understand each other better.

Often in our interactions with people, we must start with the conscious decision to trust them first, instead of the other way around. Yes, true, trust must be earned. But sometimes, it’s also worth it to invest on trust first before the whole business starts rolling.

I sound like a financial expert, hey?



5 comments:

Maria aka jakeline said...

How wise you are! I also find it very hard to trust people at first... I don't know why.

I must aplogise for my long absence... I've missed you guys, but life seems to get in the way of most things now a days. I'm only too happy that I'm able to write fairly regularly... Having a wild 1,5 year old at home doesn't make things any easier! :P

I'm currently on my final chapter on I remember love. It's heart breaking to realise that it's finally done very soon...

anywho... hugs and kisses from sweden!
/ Maria

Icha said...

Congrats on the final chapter, Maria! I have abandoned my fanfic writing for months now...I have to save my thesis first ^_^

Anyway, re: trust, I don't claim to find it easy to trust someone. But I guess once I made the decision and jumped forward, it's getting easier and easier then. Perhaps because I choose to have faith in humanity in general... and it general works for me.

Linda Fern said...

You said (in bold):

Although we must be vigilant, we also must reserve faith in someone or something.

“Vigilant” reminds me of the event my sister told me about just the other day. The daughter of a friend of hers had a boyfriend of some 7 plus years and they were in nursing/medical school. My sister had even met him. A few days ago in the middle of their problems he shot her and then shot himself. My point being we must be ‘vigilant’ by knowing in depth whom we place our trust/faith in. And believe me it’s not easy.


Once I decided to trust them and trust my best intentions at the same time, better things happened. We started to understand each other better.

Often in our interactions with people, we must start with the conscious decision to trust them first, instead of the other way around. Yes, true, trust must be earned. But sometimes, it’s also worth it to invest on trust first before the whole business starts rolling.


My dear Icha, I wish to believe that with my whole heart! I do believe I have done just that during my many years. I have friends/relatives I would trust my life with, but there are some who are held at arm’s length also.

Yrs aff’ly,
Linda the Librarian

Icha said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your story, Linda... and it's true that for some (perhaps many) people, we can either tell straight away that we can't trust them, or that slowly we feel something wrong with them.

But I still reserve some example of how putting trust first often helps the situation, particularly when we're dealing with a person in an interpersonal level. You have to trust your gut of course, and you might eventually decide not to pursue the association with him/her.

But at least in general, we can give a try. Until a certain limit where enough is enough.

Rachel said...

Linda, I am so sorry to hear of your story. That is truly awful and an example of how incredibly tough it is to make the right decisions about something SO important.

I think that the key point is the depth of trust which you mentioned Linda. I think that it does indeed help to place some element of trust in a person to get the relationship ball rolling (taking Icha's phrase) but a very different level of vigilence must be used to determine who you can 'really trust', i.e. who you can trust with own and your family's life.

Great quote though Icha.