Posted by: nmontague | July 16, 2010

Resolve to be Trustworthy

When I was a teenager, I was in the Boy Scouts of America. One of the first things I learned as a Scout is the Scout Law. The Scout Law has 12 Principles that a Scout should live. The first principle is that a Scout is Trustworthy. At the Boy Scout Website it describes this law as follows:

“A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.”

I’ve been pondering what it means to be Trustworthy last night and this morning because I was watching Glenn Beck’s show yesterday. He discussed Trustworthiness, about making your word your bond. At one point he made a point that it was odd how if someone doesn’t get everything in writing for a contract, we think that person is an idiot, but we don’t think anything about the person who broke his word.

It just has me thinking, how many opportunities do we lose because we aren’t trustworthy? Trust is difficult to regain once it has been lost. How many marriages fall apart because one or both parties lose trust in one another? How many promotions are lost because the boss just can’t trust his/her employee to keep their promises on what they do? Look at the recent financial crisis. The problem wasn’t deregulation or overregulation. The problem was that people couldn’t keep their word to pay back their debts and because Banks can’t keep their word in being responsible for the funds of their patrons.

I’ve mentioned Ben Franklin’s Virtues before. One of them was as follows:

RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”

Now, the link between Resolution and being Trustworthy might not be immediately apparently. Ponder it a bit. But I’ve come to the conclusion that Resolution is the way we become Trustworthy. In order to be Trustworthy, we need to preform without fail what we resolve or promise. And how do we do that? First, we start by focusing on only resolving to preform what we ought. We shouldn’t be rash in what we promise to do. And when we do make promises, keep them. Go above and beyond in your efforts to keep them. Show yourself and others that you can be reliable.

Another way we can be more trustworthy is by letting go of any lies we may be hiding or holding on to. Everything does someone they are ashamed of at some point. Many, if not most, of us are hiding things from people we love because we are afraid of what they might think of us. This is not good because it will put undo stress on us because we will be intent to keep those things from them so we continue to look Trustworthy. We need to stop worrying about our image and start looking at who we really are. Image is nothing, reality is what is important. What’s the point of a spotless image if you lie about who you are? And how can anyone rely on you if you are pretending to be someone you aren’t around them?

I think this is an important principles that everyone needs to learn. I’m glad I learned it as a teenager, but I hope now that I am an adult, that I can do more to incorporate it in my life than I ever have before.

1) Look at the promises you make. Do you make rash promise you can’t fulfill? Reassess the way you use your word of Honor.

2) What is it that you ought to do? What are you duties? Make a list of them. Then resolve to do them. Then (the difficult step) do them. Don’t let your mind fight over whether you are going to do them or not. Just do them.

3) Are you hiding anything from those you love? Stop. Step up and tell them the Truth. Don’t worry about your image as much as who you really are. Because images have a habit of falling apart to the truth at some point. And if you haven’t resolved to actually be a trustworthy person and practiced it, then you are going to struggle when the image falls. Don’t be afraid of who you are. Because it’s only when you accept who you are that you have the power to change it.


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