Trust is arguably the most misunderstood word we use.

It is complicated by each person’s individual interpretations, multiple definitions, experiences and expectations. Our own understanding of trust often differs from that of our friends, our colleagues and those in our Scout Group.  It's also one of the most important Scout Laws and one we promise to live up to when we make the Scout Promise.

So how can we live up to being trusted?

It comes down to us demonstrating to others that they can trust us before we can actually be considered trustworthy. It is our decision and choice in the end. No-one can force us to be trustworthy. We make our own decision and try to live by it. Ultimately, it's an individual choice to aim to be worthy of the trust given by others.

We must own our actions, decisions, omissions, and mistakes. We influence more by our actions than our words.  

We must be self-aware and behave with integrity. We must recognise that we impact on others. We must be attuned to others and open to their needs and perspectives.

We need to trust others and give our trust freely. Those who make that choice have a deeper understanding of their role in trust building. It is often difficult when we are called to trust first.

We must consider how we approach our relationships and interactions with others. It is not about winning or losing. It is about really wanting everyone to do well, to share their wins and losses and to genuinely care. We should operate with kindness, compassion, love, tolerance and integrity. Treating everyone we encounter with dignity and respect.

Being trustworthy means we willingly collaborate, cooperate, consider, and contribute. We behave ethically. We don’t share another person’s private stories or information, or tell jokes at others’ expense.

The bottom line is this: people only share ideas with, put their faith in, open up to, share enthusiasm, and work best with people they trust. If we, as Scouts, can be the person they give their trust to, we can harness the power of trust in our lives.

That's what trust is. It's power. Power to bring out the energy, talents and gifts of individuals, to build teams, and to achieve amazing results for others and ourselves. When we operate from a base of trust we positively influence all around us.

Being trustworthy means being someone that others can turn to, both in times of need and of opportunity, knowing they can confide in us and rely on us. They know we will respect their confidentiality and deliver on our promise. If we trust others and allow others to trust us we will live up to the first of our Scout Laws.