It is bad form to define a term or word by using the word or term. When we ask a Scout what is meant by being Trustworthy it is almost a cop out for the Scout to answer “One that is worthy of Trust” or some one worthy of being Trusted.
Merriam-Webster defines Trustworthy as worthy of confidence : dependable. Words that describe the actions or attitudes of someone deemed to be Trustworthy.
Reliable, Dependable, Honest, Deserving of Trust are a few more words that I think of when we talk about being Trustworthy.
For me it all comes down to actions. Those tangible things that we can see and feel or read and process in our minds that lead us to put our Trust in someone or an organization.
We had an interesting discussion a few days ago with a Scout. The discussion led to Character and how we judge the character of a person or group, in particular the discussion was about the Media.
How do we know what we can trust? The Scout asked me. What is credible and honest in today’s media? How do we define in today’s media what is true or as they now say “Fake News”. This young man explained that they were having this discussion in School that day and felt as though the teacher obviously had a certain bias for one side of the media.
Again, I led the conversation to what we believe character looks like. What is the expectation of a Scout in our community. Does he tell the truth? Does he demonstrate leadership? Does the Scout stay out of trouble? When he makes a commitment does he follow through and complete the task? Does he treat others with respect and dignity?
I am sure that we can go on and on.. the bottom line is simply this, are we dependable, worthy of peoples confidence, honest and deserving of trust.
So how do apply that standard to the media or society in general. It appears that it depends on how you define character. One side is “Fair and Balanced” while the other side is “First and Accurate”. So who is right?
What is “Fake News”? What are “alternate facts”. The issue has become so clouded that we are getting to a point where we are hard pressed to accurately determine who is being Trustworthy.
This is a great lesson for our Scouts. No matter which side of the spectrum you find yourself politically or socially.. The fact that no matter what you claim to believe the one thing that we can agree on is that the media is perceived as suspect. In the discussion of Trust and Trustworthiness, we can agree that it is hard to believe either side because they are creating doubt in their character. Both side make the argument that “They are right”, but we all know that the truth must be somewhere in the middle. Gone is the idea of a clear “right and wrong” when it comes to some social issues and media influence.
I am not sure what the fix is, but I do know that when I discuss this with Scouts it is a great case study in what we look for in defining “Trustworthy”.
A Scout is Trustworthy.. so yeah… Worthy of Trust. We must do everything not to take that away from how people view us as Scouts.
I am curious to know what you think.
Leave us a comment.
Have a Great Scouting Day!