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Trust and faith

Dont you trust me?

Every teenager ever

See if this sounds familiar. A teenager tells her parents that shes going to a party at a friends house. The mother starts asking questions: Who is the friend? Where is the house? Who will be there? Will there be adult supervision? Will there be drinking? When will you be home?

At some point during this exchange, the inevitable teenager question arises: Dont you trust me? The mother replies that she does indeed trust her daughter. Well then, comes the retort, why are you asking so many questions?

Regardless of where the conversation goes from here, what usually is not said is that while the mother may trust her offspring, she probably doesnt have an abundance of confidence in her ability to handle every situation that comes up.

Thats the difference between trust and faith. In order to be a responsible adult, you must be deserving of both. Trust generally comes first. You earn it over time by being honest and upright, and by having a good heart and good intentions. Faith comes later, after you have faced a variety of adverse situations and proven that you can handle them responsibly.

Trust is essential, but its not enough. You trust the waiter to handle your dinner order and credit card payment. But would you have enough faith in him to let him manage your entire life savings? Of course not. In order to have faith in someone, you need to know them well; you need to have seen how they act and react in a variety of difficult situations; you need to have faith not only in their honesty but also in their abilities. You need to know that you can count on them.

You may have occasionally heard someone talk about another person as their rock. That is an indication of complete faith in another, and its the highest compliment one human being can bestow on another.

As you go through life, you would do well to remember this concept. It will come in handy both nowas you separate those persons in whom you can place faith from those whom you can merely trustand later, as you work to earn the trust and faith of others. Later still (much later, we hope), you may want to keep all this in mind when you start having conversations with your own teenaged kids.

Excerpted from The Graduates Book of Practical Wisdom: 99 Lessons They Cant Teach

in School by C. Andrew

Millard, published by Morgan James Publishing, available

in bookstores and online. &opy; 2008 by C. Andrew Millard; all rights reserved. For

more information visit www.wisegraduate.com.