Is it a curse to be a trusting person?


We here in Acadiana are a tight-knit community.  Cajuns readily and lovingly accept people with whom they are not intimately acquainted.  We invite new acquaintances into our homes to share our joie de vivre.  This is such a great place to live and love.


What happens, though, when our trust in humanity is betrayed.  It is inevitable with the human condition.  As we all know, there is good and bad in the human condition.  So the formula for being a trusting person is to be vigilant and measured about initially placing one’s trust in others.  Some folks are good at deluding others with talk – they say one thing and do another. Still, many of us are by nature trusting persons.  Notice I did not say most of us.  And we’re not even going to consider the distrust that exists among politicians in Baton Rouge and Washington D.C.  But some people have an unrelenting trusting nature – they are good, so others must be good they think – and unfortunately those folks can be taken advantage of.


I’m writing this because there has been plenty of home improvement going on at the Pope residence.  Now I’m pretty good at minor repairs, but I stay away from larger repair/improvement jobs around the house.  Take for example the roof on your house.  That’s a big job.


After discovering that the hail storm that hit Lafayette in April 2017 had damaged my roof, I began the search for a reliable roofing contractor.  One contractor, in particular, impressed me initially.  Promises of doing excellent work for the least cost sounded good.  The longer my dealings with the contractor extended, the more I saw the deception which was this person’s major selling method.  I was told whatever my insurance company would pay for replacing my damaged roof was the price for which the company would complete the job.  When I gave the contractor the insurance company’s estimate for the roof job, he quickly changed his tune.  The insurance money was not quite enough to complete the job, he said.  When I asked for a written estimate from the shady contractor, I never got one.  But I sure was pressured to quickly sign a contract and get the work underway.


The quick-talking roofing contractor’s true colors were revealed when my research revealed that multiple complaints had been filed with the Better Business Bureau concerning his chameleon tactics.  One complaint stated that he was responsive and communicative before the contract was signed.  Once it was signed, he was evasive and non-communicative.  Needless to say, my research led me to one of the most reputable roofers in Acadiana.


So be careful with your personal and business dealings.  It is truly rewarding to trust others and have that trust and respect reciprocated.  But make sure that you initially reserve judgement in deciding whether others are trustworthy.  As an old English Proverb states, “It is an equal failing to trust everybody, and to trust nobody.”


One of my favorite general aphorisms is by Shakespeare, although it is not about trust; Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”  So with that in mind, I’ll quote one of my favorite sayings about trust.  The saying was coined by one of the greatest political leaders of the 20th Century, President Ronald Reagan, who said succinctly “Trust but verify.”

-Mark Pope