Who Are You?

Perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is, who do you think you are? Certainly other people have formulated their opinion of you but what matters is, who are you? What do you believe and act on? Do you hold firm to some ideal? Are you a person which subscribes to the notion in which achievement is measured by things others know about you? What are you most closely held secrets? Are these secrets destructive to you or someone else? Policing and community

Recent news events illustrate this complex question; we are a mix of good and bad, right and wrong, sensible and foolish.

Chris Kyle a former US Navy SEAL worked to aid others both on and off the battle field. His outreach somehow found the wrong person who turned on him and brought his life to an early end.

For reasons that elude me there are those who sympathize with a former LAPD police officer that completely lost it and turned his anger on those who should have been his closest allies. Chris Dorner probably suffered from a type of mental disorder when he killed fellow police officers.

To me the difference between these two men comes down to trust. If you ever served in a potential life and death situation it’s not difficult to understand which person would have your back.

Trust is a difficult attribute to gain but easily lost. Many times in  my life I’ve been placed into positions of trust. I’ve never betrayed that trust. Few have ever been placed into such a situation as a large city police officer or a sniper in the military. In either situation, the public and most especially your team members must rely on your abilities and your integrity.

The story in Genesis in the Bible concerning Adam and Eve, whether true or not is an early story about trust. Both Adam and Eve were given responsibilities to tend to a large garden and to bring forth good things from it. They were given one basic warning to not touch or rather, eat of the fruit of a specific tree. They were then turned loose. Instructions were given and they were allowed to work without further direct supervision. It wasn’t long and the temptation to cross over to take a bite of this forbidden fruit was too much for this couple and the rest they say is history. Trust was extended and soon lost based on a decision and an action.

I have a basic understanding of how trustworthy an individual is and I’m sure there are those who would disagree with this premise. My thoughts on trust revolve around how we conduct ourselves with our most fundamental relationships which are seldom scrutinized by anyone other than ourselves. I find if an individual can’t be trusted with their most intimate relationships, they aren’t going to be trustworthy  when the pressure is on in a public arena as well.

Perhaps we should consider our personal conduct despite who we may think we are and avoid all the numerous excuses and rationalizations when it comes to responsible behavior.