Trust is complicated and not easily formed. The existence of trust depends on individual’s circumstances, and varies from individual to individual. It is strongly influenced by our environment.
Mainly, we trust people whom we knew than we don’t. We also subconsciously judge and form assumptions about people we don’t know in protecting our own interests – not always the positive ones.
Few days ago, I encountered an exceptional incident that is worth sharing.
Planned a month in advanced, I was due to fly back home for medical treatment. Flight at 6.10pm, but literally left office at 5.10pm right after an important management meeting that took me a week long to prepare. Happy with the meeting outcome and ready to go when I realised my flight time was overlooked – not 6.30pm. 1.5 hours are usually an acceptable period considering my office proximity to the airport.
Totally forgotten to check-in online, panicking myself for fear of missing my flight, I stood right in the middle of taxi stand waiting for a car and thinking “to go or not to go, and which airport terminal to go in case I couldn’t catch this.” Called my husband to cry for help when this suit-up man offered me to share his booked car to get to the airport. In emergency circumstance like this, I said yes and gave it a go without hesitation. It was awkward to jump into a car with a stranger.
On our short journey, we chatted briefly about life just to get the idea that “I’m totally missing my flight!!” off my nervous system. Very appreciative of this stranger’s kindness that I offered to pay or even share the cab fee at least.
Surprisingly, he refused persistently and explained that he wasn’t expecting anything but just offering help because I looked troubled.
I had a thousand of suspicions at that moment.
I would not have taken a ride with a stranger if I wasn’t caught in emergency situation.
What if it’s a scam, and I would be damned.
Not that I am naive – I took calculated risks by screening through my surroundings. It was a legitimate taxi company that he booked. There were a few more people behind me at the taxi stand as witnesses. I was the obvious one with a luggage. He took a chance as much as I did. Instinct played a part too.
Subsequently, I insisted to exchange business cards as opportunity to repay him when I’m back. At least, I know the name of the man who saved my day. He gave me his business card as a friendly gesture and remarked again that he wasn’t expecting anything.
Turned out as written, he is a Managing Director of an established private equity firm. “Is this real?” I thought. He was so humble that for the past minutes, titles mean nothing in our conversation – a feeling that I’ve missed since stepping into career world. “Thank you so much!” were my last words.
I made it – Literally arrived 45 minutes before my flight schedule, got myself and luggage checked in, ran to the gate and boarded straight through (these never happened to me being a frequent flyer). Despite the crazy rush and exhaustion, I couldn’t help but thinking about my blessed trip to the airport. I was curious and googled about the stranger. Indeed, he is as genuine as he shared.
“Have I been overly paranoid? Who would have thought? – How silly! ” I smiled to myself.
We’re often haunted by bad news around us. So much that we are quick to judge the worst out of people around us just to protect ourselves. We learned that most strangers have bad intention and so we assumed even the good strangers are bad people. How is it fair to the honest people with good intention?
We all know trust requires time to build, and it’s not always easy. Sometimes, even friendship trust is questionable, not to mention strangers.
Perhaps giving benefit of the doubt to others sometimes can be a wonderful thing.
I am exceptionally grateful and thankful to have experienced this – I feel positive than before. Could it be merely luck that I am blessed?
Or I must have done something right?
Photo by Gabrielle Henderson