I am a person of many oddities and quirks, I suppose, but one of my more consistent quirks is a difficulty in believing that others will be loyal and trustworthy. Trust is one of the most precious commodities of life, keeping families and communities and institutions knit together and believing that others are looking out for their best interests. Trust and faith are vital aspects to human survival and recovery from difficulties. In the absence of trust, people do not work together effectively and spend effort that could be used in service to engage in practices of self-protection from the possibility of scheming and harm, wasting resources and energy and making communication and cooperative effort more difficult than it would be already (which is sufficiently difficult). A low trust life is a life full of a great deal of difficulty and thankless toil, since there is no one who can share the burden of life when no one can be trusted.
I happen to be a fan of the alternative band Young The Giant, and the title track of their sophomore album “Mind Over Matter” represents the concern I have with loyalty rather well in the second part of its chorus: “And when the seasons change, will you stand by me, ’cause I’m a young man built to fall?” The singer of this particular song is singing to a mysterious young woman wearing a mask, telling her that she is on his mind even though he is busy traveling because of his music, but he wonders if she will stand by him. This appears to be a consistent problem with singers , in that their life, and the availability of sex if they wish to go down that road and the months away from their own loved ones are not conducive to loyalty. There are really two kinds of people who really struggle with trust: people who are not trustworthy and people who have been disastrously hurt by those who should have been trustworthy. Knowing where someone fits along that line helps one determine the proper response to their suspicious natures.
One of the most obvious cases where trust is necessary and also difficult is in forming relationships. This is true of relationships like family ones where we have little or no choice who we have to deal with but we have a great deal of choice in how we deal with them, as well as in the formation of friendships and romantic relationships, where trust is directly tied in some sense with some type of intimacy. Without some basic level of trust, or a large degree of fatalism, it is impossible to scratch beneath the surface of human interactions. When we take the time to get to know someone, to hear their struggles and share our own, we have to believe that someone is going to stand by us and not cut and run because times get tough. How do we trust someone will see our scars and wounds and not run away because it is hard to stay with someone who is so obviously in distress, but has the stubbornness and loyalty to stand by such a person and not abandon them? It is one thing to know what one has and needs, and an entirely different thing to find it.
This is made all the more difficult when there are factors in life that hinder our ability to trust others. For example, it may be hard for us to trust those who have made certain decisions because it leads to fear that others will have the same response to us. It is difficult to trust that someone will stick with a difficult situation if they have been known to cut and run in the past. Likewise, knowing my own background, I am painfully aware that others might look at my own burdens and the way that I have been shaped by them and not want anything to do with it because they feel it is too much to take and that they may not have the resources to handle that sort of difficulty. We all struggle enough in life; we have to know that we do not struggle alone, and that others will not get to know us and then tell us that they prefer an easier road than walking by our side. If we are built to fall, at least we should be built to fit along with others so that we never have to walk alone.
 See, for example: