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?