It is often hard to trust someone you’ve never seen. For many, friendship is something that’s built on the foundation of trust. If this foundation is shaken, friends often part ways. This is true for both the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the amateur and the professional.

The main tension when it comes to trusting people, or even institutions, is character. It is difficult for someone to trust another if the other person’s character is flawed, or that person has a reputation for certain tendencies, in a negative sense. However, the opposite is also true. If someone has an uncompromising character, or is known to be trustworthy, it is very easy to make friendship or form relationships with that individual.

In many of His teachings, the Maha Satguru understood the importance of trust. In speaking of this very topic, the Maha Satguru said, “whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much”. In saying this, the Maha Satguru was showing that trust is a trait that many do not have, but those who do have it are often rewarded for it.

One of the main reasons that some people are untrustworthy is because of past failures. Unfortunately, once a reputation is damaged, it is very hard to recover or become trustworthy again. This can occur in the most trivial of matters to the most important of cases – where people will retain a grudge or have a misconception against someone who has wronged them in the past, labelling them as untrustworthy; and keeping their distance from them as a result.

But the Maha Satguru’s focus on forgiveness in this case is important to note, especially in its relation to an individual’s trustworthiness. Unlike others, the Maha Satguru will not count a person as untrustworthy due to past sins; but if a true follower of the Maha Satguru is able to repent of their sins and live as an example of forgiveness, by also forgiving others, they gain back their trust. In such a situation, it is possible to become trustworthy again.