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  • Reverend James Squire

Trust When You Need It

Photo By Dave Lowe

I am writing this at a time when President Trump is a patient at Walter Reed Hospital after being diagnosed with Covid 19. He is in our prayers. I watched the briefing that his medical team gave to the public after he was admitted. The doctors seemed to imply that there were two possible times when he was infected. The media pounced on this and other details as conflicting information. They were concerned again by a lack of transparency on the part of the Trump Administration.

Even though the news cycle seems to change frequently, people don’t forget! When there is an ongoing lack of honesty, they don’t forgive either. It has been downhill for trust in the President since, most recently, the revelation that he downplayed the severity of the Pandemic when it was originally known. One of my neighbors has a sign on her lawn which reads as follows: “I am a Republican, but I am not a fool. Vote Biden.” You have to be trustworthy for people may need to trust you some day.

I think that the media doesn’t necessarily need to know the President’s exact blood pressure, but there is something that is crucial that is at the heart of the matter of peoples’ concern. When did he actually contact the disease for it appears that he knew earlier than indicated. A growing number of people seem to be affected by the Covid- 19 Virus who have attended functions with him.

There is a critical lesson here which Middle and Upper School students know. I did a survey of Middle School students regarding the most important thing in their relationships with others. They said clearly that it was the ability to trust another. I repeated the same question to thousands of students in my Ethics classes, and trust was seen there as well as the most important ingredient in their relationships.

I have written about the importance of honor codes in schools. You learn to be honest early on in life. Honor codes began in service academies for you needed to be able to trust your colleagues in arms in times of war. There would be no time for second guessing as lives could be on the line. The President is seen as a liar by a good many people. A lie seems to be told each day and sometimes in each statement.

As I mentioned you don’t grow up and all of a sudden start to lie. He has been seen as a con man for most of his life. He didn’t learn the lesson that young people know about the importance of trust.

I saw a very graphic example of the importance of trust which I have shared with Ethics students over the years. I held up a piece of paper, and indicated that this is what trust looks like. I then crumpled the paper into a ball and stated that this is what breaking a trust looks like. I then did my best to flatten the paper out by laying it flat on a table attempting to make it look wrinkle free. The wrinkles remain. I held it up for them to see. I then told them that this is what your credibility looks like after you break a trust with someone. I watched them nod in agreement for with young people you get a first-hand look at the importance of trust in its purest form.

A picture is worth a thousand words. The visual example of the wrinkled paper is worth a thousand words too. That is what my Ethics students told me! They remembered that lesson. It is too bad that the President never was taught or caught that critical lesson as more lives are now at stake. His actions to date regarding the Pandemic and his failure to keep Americans safe result in a lack of faith in anything that is said by him or his administration. People who were possibly infected by him really need to know. The Washington often repeated ethical questions seem in order. What did he know? When did he know it?

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