I specifically remember my mother telling me not to leave a bag in sight. When we were driving, she would never put her purse on the seat beside the driver. There was a genuine concern that, if we stopped at a traffic light, someone could break the window and steal her purse. Yes, this was the reality in Dublin, Ireland back then. And perhaps in many places around the world.
Then some years later, my brother-in-law, visiting the city for the first time, sat at a coffee shop and left his wallet on the table just beside his hand. He didn’t see it, it was swiped so fast. He realized a few minutes later that it was gone.
So when my friend left his wallet beside his phone and his computer and walked to the other side of the coffee ship, my reaction was involuntary. I kept looking at it, felt a tension in my neck and a slight sickness to my stomach.
I thought to myself, relax Lisa, it’s okay. It’s safe here. No one will steal the wallet but it was hard to concentrate on my work, I kept glancing at his wallet.
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Someone watching might have thought I was getting read to grab it.
When he returned, I said to him, maybe you should put your wallet away. He smiled and said, yeah, maybe – and ignored me!
I began to wonder about the relationship between trust, confidence and stupidity. We’ve learned to be cautious and untrusting – out of experience, because people do bad things, and we’ve all experienced that.
And yet, here we are, a perfect example of my friend being completely confident that he can trust his environment and no one will steal his wallet.
And my first reaction is, boy is he stupid!
It bothered me for more time than was reasonable. I’ve been trying to figure out why. And I guess it brings up two things that I struggle with; trust & dishonesty.
Trust – because so often I’ve had really high standards and expectations that have been disappointed. Often it’s been easier to just do it myself than trust someone else to do it for me.
And I’ve come to see that this belief is incredibly debilitating and can crush a project – I have had to grow into trusting and letting go.
Dishonesty – because I’m so tired of false promises and anecdotal untruths that would promise the impossible (especially online) – the idea that all you need is ‘this one thing’ and you will be wildly successful and make a ton of money that will finance your next Lamborghini.
And I’ve come to see that every industry has it’s charlatans, and there are also many great people online who come from a place of service and integrity – this will always be my model and my guide.
The biggest lesson from all this is to simply pay attention. There’s a time for caution and there’s a time for trust. To read the situation carefully and act accordingly.
I love that I go to my coffee shop and leave my computer out on the table when I pop to the bathroom or outside for a breath of fresh air. That I’ve created a bunch of friends from the locals that work there, and we keep an eye on each other’s stuff all the time.
And I know that leaving my wallet on the table would be a bit stupid, not something I’m going to do any time soon. And no, my friend didn’t get his wallet stolen but I think he was just lucky!
How do you know when and who to trust? Leave a comment below.