Trust is a belief in the reliability, strength or ability of someone or something. We can trust in a principle like truth. We can find trust in a cause, an idea, a community or life itself. Hope is a type of trust because we are depending on, and putting our confidence in, something in the future. Trust is closely related to safety. When we trust we feel safe and can find a sense of refuge from the storms of life.
In 1989 during the international Antarctic exhibition, six men spent nine months crossing the Antarctic. Two days before the expedition ended, they hit a blizzard. While they were camped Keizo Funatsu went out to feed his huskies. He was one of world’s great experts at handling huskies but he became disorientated in the white-out and lost his bearings. His team-mates tried to save him but it was a hopeless task and they were forced to return to their tents for their own safety. Keizo was lost in the dark, in a blizzard, at the bottom of the world.
In these situations, the next morning the person is often found dead a few yards from their tent having wandered here and wandered there close to the refuge of camp but never finding it. Instead of trying to do something to save his life Keizo decided to do nothing. He kicked a little trench in snow and lay down. He had to surrender to the situation and put aside the natural tendency to ‘do something’, to make something happen.
In his diary he says ‘when I was in my snow ditch I was covered in 5 mins. I knew that few people have this experience and so I said to myself ‘Keizo, relax, try and enjoy this’. ‘I could feel my heartbeat, I felt like I was in my mother’s womb’. While waiting there he said he was not afraid, he knew his friends would find him. 14 hours later he hears his teammates calling his name and bursts up from the snow ditch and says ‘I am alive, I am alive!’
What does this story teach us about the nature of trust? What does Keizo place his trust in throughout his ordeal?
Why is trust a valuable quality? Why is important in living well?
We can think of the above story as a metaphor for our lives. We all get lost in the storms of life and need to find refuge somewhere. What are the things we can put our trust in?
Try completing the following question:
When times are tough, I put my trust in…
The one thing I trust in above all is…
Through the storms of life, I can take refuge in…
Visualise, in your mind’s eye, what it would be like to live with a deep sense of trust in life. Imagine that you have the resources to cope with whatever life puts your way. You are able to meet challenges and flourish even in the face of adversity. Try get a felt sense of this experience in your body.