14. BE WORTHY OF TRUST.

Unless one can have confidence in the reliability of those about one, he himself is at risk. When those he counts upon let him down, his own life can become disordered and even his own survival can be put at risk.

Mutual trust is the firmest building block in human relationships. Without it, the whole structure comes down.

Trustworthiness is a highly esteemed commodity. When one has it, one is considered valuable. When one has lost it, one may be considered worthless.

One should get others around one to demonstrate it and earn it. They will become much more valuable to themselves and others thereby.

14-1. Keep your word once given.

When one gives an assurance or promise or makes a sworn intention, one must make it come true. If one says he is going to do something, he should do it. If he says he is not going to do something, he should not do it.

One’s regard for another is based, in no small degree, on whether or not the person keeps his or her word. Even parents, for instance, would be surprised at the extent they drop in the opinion of their children when a promise is not kept.

People who keep their word are trusted and admired. People who do not are regarded like garbage.

Those who break their word often never get another chance.

A person who does not keep his word can soon find himself entangled and trapped in all manner of “guarantees” and “restrictions” and can even find himself shut off from normal relations with others. There is no more thorough self-exile from one’s fellows than to fail to keep one’s promises once made.

One should never permit another to give his or her word lightly. And one should insist that when a promise is made, it must be kept. One’s own life can become very disordered in trying to associate with people who do not keep their promises. It is not a casual matter.

The way to happiness is
much, much easier to travel
with people one can trust.