The Value of Trust

Trust is the firm belief or confidence in the honesty, integrity, strength, ability, reliability of a person.

It is the very thing that everybody in this world desires, or at least should desire from one another. Who wants to have a friendship or relationship without trust?  I believe nobody does. Without trust, there is no friendship, and without friendship, there is no love. It is believed that trust is an even greater compliment than to be loved.  George Macdonald said it best when he stated: "To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved."  Yes! How can you be loved if you are not trusted first?"

It is a special thing to be trusted by someone. To be told you are trusted is an even greater feeling, but you should never take advantage of that trust. Taking advantage of somebody's trust in you is never a good thing and will only lead to distrust. Trust should be valued highly and seen as a true bond between two friends or mates. It should be thought of like the glue in the relationship.

Trust is a wonderful and ideal value but the concern there is the tendency among many people to put too much trust in other people, or trust in the wrong people. Both actions may lead to extremely negative results that can affect one’s own self-esteem and perspective of life.  Another damaging aspect of trust is how we feel about ourselves and our lives after our trust has been betrayed. This idea may fit better on a page called “betrayal” but betrayal is something that others do to us, not something that we have control over. We have control over the level of trust we put in someone and over the way we react when that trust has been betrayed.

How often have you encountered a situation where you have questioned the trust you place in others? Have you trusted someone at their word, only to find you’ve been cheated or lied to? How did that make you feel? Have you ever thought about the trust others place in you? Do you always trust your own judgment?

In employment, one of the most important implied terms is that of the ‘duty of mutual trust and confidence’ between the employer and the employee.

This means that we and our employer rely on each other, to be honest, and respectful and shouldn’t, without reasonable and proper cause, conduct ourselves in a manner calculated to destroy or seriously damage the mutual relationship of trust and confidence between us.

To elaborate further, from an employee’s point of view – we agree to serve the employer loyally and in good faith and not to act against the employer’s interests like not misusing the employer’s property or resources. This term exists throughout employment.

And from an employer’s point of view – they have obligations that cover many situations in which a balance has to be struck between an employer managing the office as he sees fit, and the employee’s interest in not being unfairly or improperly treated like being reprimanded in front of other employees. In essence, the duty covers the concept of fair dealing on the part of the employer.

One basic policy of the government concerning employee conduct and discipline is the policy of the state to promote a high standard of ethics in public service. Thus, it is enshrined in the Phil. Constitution that “Public Office is a Public Trust - Public officers and employees, must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice, lead modest lives and uphold public interest over personal interest.

In this light, government officials and employees, like you and I, are therefore obliged to prove that we deserve the people’s trust. Trust is the basis of our employment and tenure in public service. Once this trust is broken through misdeed or misconduct, we are held liable. We are answerable to the people from whom the government derives its power. The people’s taxes sustain our salaries and other benefits. Hence, they expect to be served well. As mere custodians or stewards of public office, we cannot hold on to our position as we please. A government position is not a private preserve. It is not our private property to do with it any wish we want to. We must live by the rules, regulations, norms of conduct and discipline that are at all times expected of public servants. Public interest comes first and foremost, rising well above personal goals.

-Dominga G. Lunag