We don’t trust because we are afraid, because we don’t want to be disappointed, because we do not want to be let down. Trusting can leave us vulnerable.
This week I chose not to be afraid and to trust. Trust someone who is not used to being trusted. I hired a graduate of my program in the youth incarceration facility who is now out, and this week she started to work for my organization. It was a small job. It wasn’t a real risk, just a baby one, and I took it. I gave her a task, and then I gave her cash for the task. I was confident and optimistic that she would do it. But then I let fear kick in.
Oh no, maybe I shouldn’t have given her cash. Oh no, maybe she will not do what I asked her to do. Oh no, maybe I just handed her drug money.
I talk endlessly about giving the first chances that these kids never had, and here I am second guessing and worrying. I have good reason to do so. We all do. We should be afraid. But fear cannot and should not take away our trust because if we really want to give a chance, well we must touch our fear, see it, acknowledge it, and coexist with it. We also must give a chance to fail. We must be ready for it, embrace it, and then, trust again.
The beautiful thing? My girl came through. Not exactly the way I wanted. I, too, need to learn to be clearer about what I want and need her to do. But she came through. I panicked and second-guessed myself. She was embarrassed that she made a few mistakes. It’s funny because I think it might be scarier for her that I am trusting her than the fear I have of her not coming through. So she did the task, and she was proud. Oh my god, she was proud.
We all need to trust regardless of the fear. We must trust our choices and other people choosing us. But most of all, we must learn to trust the process, not because it will give us an outcome, but because it will teach us what the outcome can be.
I texted and called. She explained and then disappeared. I was so worried, and ironically she missed the train to where she was supposed to meet me. Of course it wasn’t a big deal, because I chose not to make it one, and she got on the next train and all was good. But when I thought about it she hasn’t really missed any train.
You see, SHE IS the train moving forward, and I am the station. We all are. We are the stations waiting for these kids to stop, get off, be and thrive. So, we must have trust that they will not go off the tracks. We must trust even when it is a little scary. We must trust, because it is our trust that can and will fuel their engine. The engine that is their future.
As you light the first light of Hanukkah tonight, trust yourself and others a little more. Trust that the world can be a better place, and know you can make it just that!