To have one’s trust betrayed is one of the worst human heartbreaks. Under the pain of the dishonesty revealed in your environment, your very belief in goodness may be compromised.
The seduction in the wake of betrayal is to take up a thicker armour, to practice at expecting less of others, or to punish one’s own naïveté. But these are the same refusals from which our world is dying. Never should a judgement be made against one’s willingness to open the heart.
Trust is one of the great acts of kinship and naïveté is not, as some believe, a foolish disposition that needs to be prepared for the worst. At its root the word is from the 1670s French ‘naif’, meaning “natural, simple, artless.” It is the authentic, genuine, and literally “native disposition” of the human heart.
This is not to say that we shouldn’t practice discernment in our dealings with others, but if our trust is broken we must remember that it says more about the other, who doesn’t yet know how to be loved, than it does about the heart who offers of itself.
Let us remount our commitment to sincerity, reassuring our native inclination to trust, and remember that even in the rubble of loss and betrayal, trust is what we all deserve.