An essay on the meaning of trust and trustworthiness among humans


I would like to theoretize a little bit on the difference between the physiological need of safety (according to Maslow´s pyramid of needs) and the need to trust and be trustworthy. The difference between safety in a house or in a car is in its absolute and relative temporality. To trust a brick house is relative, it may or may not last but to trust a man is absolute. This may sound paradoxical or that it works vica versa, but in a moment I will show the true nature of trust. The safety of a house is not absolute, because it does not contain a choice and thus is prone to decay and instability. On the other hand, to trust a man (and be trustworthy) require a conscious (self-conscious) choice and thus lasts until one stops being trustworthy – may be everlasting and infinite as opposed to the temporality of a material. Moreover, trust in a car or in a house is also a choice to trust that the produce of their work is worth believing and thus I believe not in the house or a car but in the manufacturer of it. When in a cave outside when it rains, I do not need to believe in anybody, but here we see that the trust issue is not at use, but a physiological need to be in a safe surrounding prevails. When I feel trust in a trustworthy surrounding, I do not need to find a shelter (physiological need). Moreover, to feel safe means to be in a safety, trustworthy surrounding. It is much more important to be in a trustworthy place than in a safe place because of the difference in absolute and relative essence of the safety and trust. It is important to trust myself (be trustworthy for others) and then others believe in me (have my trust, so that I can trust them). First it is necessary to be trustworthy, this happens via trusting others. It is very important to get rid of the need to be in a safety surrounding and to build trust in others. If I am willing to give up my safety in order to help someone, then I gain trust of others. It is much better to feel trust, than feel safety.

There always has to be negativity in order to show the positivity. In novels for example, first, there is mistrust, sadness, complaceny, lies, dishonesty and then there comes the test that the srurounding, although mistrustful and mistrusted can change and that there can be found someone who is trustworthy, trusted and trusts me. The more distrustful the surrounding ,the more intensive the trust in the few people that can be trusted really and honestly. Without negativity, there could be no positivity. The greater the negativity and lies, the greater honesty and joy from trusting others-the few ones. Stress, sadness and melancholy has to be overcome. In case they are final then the test turns negative and the trust is not shown. Melancholy is a ground for future trust, if melancholy is the result of the test of trust, then trust is now created and melancholy remains, which is negative and sad. It is all about testing the trust, if I can trust in a certain test (for example if I leave my wallet on the table and leave and when I come back it is still there) then I can believe that the person sitting there is trustworthy. The more tests come positive the more I trust the person involved. Nostalgia, if as outer condition that it is not an inner sad, melancholic feelings, is good. To feel like sad outside and trust inside creates a beautiful nostalgic feeling which is paradoxically positive. Nostalgia, if not melancholic is thinking about past and trust I have in past. It is important to trust people, test them if they are dangerous or trustworthy because it is much more better to be in a surrounding of people whom I can trust than in a surrounding that is peopleless and where is not danger but also not a potential for trust. If I were extremely strong and invincible then I would not need to trust others, because noone would have the possiblity of hurting me, but on the other hand trust is a much better feeling than certainty and safety, it is an inner bond with people around me. It is not a physiological need as for example hunger, but it is at the top of the Maslow´s pyramid-a condition that one needs in order to experience self-realisation.

Another aspect of being trustworthy is self-consciousness. We humans have the ability to overcome our physiological needs in order to be trustworthy. If I overcome these needs, then I become more and more trustworthy. We are not animals that cannot be self-conscious and only think about their own well-being. On the other hand when someone who is hungry of does not feel well overcomes self-consciously his physiological needs than I feel trust in such a person, because the person does good for me instead of fulfilling the lowest needs. If someone does good not in order to be repaid for doing it in the future but just for the good´s sake, then it is the greatest test for being trustworthy.

Now I would like to elaborate a little bit on irony. Irony is a partial betrayal of trust- if I give my cell phone to a friend and say “keep my mobile safe” and a friend says ironically”of course” and suggests throwing it away smiling, then I know that it (untrustwothiness) came to his mind.It is much more trustworthy to be serious self-consciously. When being ironic, it is obvious that the one who is trusted is not as trustworthy as the one who trusts the hopes him to be.

Here is a list of movies that I reckon contain instances of tests that show how one grows to be trustworthy. Via words, it is very difficul to express primary, words are good for secondary explanations, showing things that the reader did not notice or did not know. Because of the relativity of words, it is difficult to use them as tools for new concepts. On the other hand, trust is a feeling that we all know that in words can be encountered, nevertheless, it is much more visible in movies.

Last samurai

In the last battle, Katsumuto and Green meet and think they are enemies, once they see each others face they recognize each other and no more aim at each other. Green is believed to be an enemy to samuris, but suddenly he sees that saving samurais is a good thing and then starts to pursue the good cause and becomes trustworthy for samurais.

Dunno on the Moon

Deficiency of trust in the system and a larger surrounding results in a greater need to trust people in a small community, a group or at least one person. Dunno has a great need to trust his friend, because everything around is untrostworthy. 

Instances of trust in Dunno on the Moon needs to be explained,otherwise it is not understood for ecerybody. One such case is the difference between socialism and capitalism. In capitalism it is hard to trust others, because I am for other a potential target for gain. This is important thing to know because then the readers (usually small children) do not understand the difference and the aim of the author Nikolai Nosov.


Shrek went to save the queen because he had to, but then he saw that leaving her for Farquad is a bad thing. He became hero involuntarily. If he wanted to become a hero, he would not be trustworthy, but becoming hero as a by-product makes one trustworthy.

Shrek wanted to express his love for princess and did so but she did not heard him – on the opposite, he heard her saying something about ugliness and projected it on himself. When someone e entrusts a secret to somebody and the person do not hear it, it is a strong mechanism of trust. One makes a confession and tells everything, but the person cannot hear, sleeps etc. The confessions has been made but the receiver did not receive it, thus the one who entrusts secret has a free conscience without the other knowing the secret.


Infatuation is not a means of trustworthiness because it is an instinct, it is hormones. One has to be self-conscious about what ones does, not because he is infatuated, but because it is the right the to do.

Shrek 2

In the scene where Shrek and his friends kidnapp the carriage, the viewer is confronted with a crime, a bad thing to do, but sees that the protagonist does not want to hurt anybody and thus is reconciled with the fact that kidnapping of the carriage is eventually a good thing to do, because Shrek needs to save his princess.

Shrek in the end thinks that he should leave Fiona alone, because she is in love with Prince Charming. Only when he sees that it is a fraud, he becames active and seeks to destroy evil. He is trustworthy because he does not want the good for himself, but for her, even if she were happy with someone else.


Neo did not want to be the chosen one, did not want to be the hero. When he is confronted with the fact that he is not, he still retains his sense for good and goes to save Morpheus. He becomes the chosen one once he makes the willing, self-conscious choice to do good, even though he „is not“ the chosen one.

Chicken Melancholic by J. K. Slejhar

Here we again see the pattern that lack of trust in surrounding results in a greater need to trust a smaller group. Here it is just one object – a chicken. The trust in anybody, even a chicken has to be honest and not a biological need. A mother trusts his offspring because there is a biological bond between those two. A choice to believe has to be voluntary. Among mafia, there can be no trust because the bond is not voluntary but artifical. This cannot work. Same here, if a boy needs to trust someone-feel safety, then the trust is not voluntary and mutual. Trust always has to be mutual. Can there be a friendship between a boy and a chicken? If the bond is biological-physiological need to feel safety, then the trust issue is not reciprocal, complete and absolute but forced.

The life of david gale

Gale was trustworthy because he sacrificed his life for a good cause. He had nothing to lose and so he sacrificed his life, not in order to be a hero or a martyr, but to do a good thing. It is not trustworthy to become a martyr willingly, in order to be adored, but paradoxically anybody who becomes a martyr during dying for a good thing, then such a person should be adored, not someone who wants to be adored for his deeds. One should not want to be famous in this world, but just because some things are good and some are not.


Mutual friendship in gattaca was a result of both- choice and a need. Vincent and Jerome needed each other but both fought for a good cause. Similary any relationship should be based on a mutual trust and not a need to have somebody-anybody. If i trust someone, then I should be willing to give up my own needs. If somone comes up during midnight, I should not think about myself but should be self-conscious to be always willing and ready to do good and listen to the person-even if it is not a friend. Maybe it is just good to help him that way and if I sacrifice my needs in order to help him, then I feel I did a good thing. In gattaca Vincent was doing a good thing-pursuing his dream, not for his fame or egoistical need, but because he believed in his destiny-in stars and space which was his destination. Jerome Morrow with all his talents was still second best-choice is more important than genetical predisposition.

In the scene where Jerome is confronted by a policeman about his legs and the fact that he is a navigator can Jerome now be sure that all they do is reality. Jerome would never be sure that Vincent does not lie, but here he can be sure. The test comes positive, Jerome(Vincent) really is in gattaca and works as a navigator.

When Jerome wommited, he joked about the result-to save it. It was a test and Vincent can still be sure, that Jerome is serious about what they do. Even though Vincent jokes and someone might see them, they know that a little joke will not hurt anybody, that it is not necessary to be always alert-for ego. If I believe in a good thing, then I can be sure that providence or a higher power is with me.

In one of the scenes Lamar uses needle to take Vincent´s blood. He says that the detectives think that his methods are not reliable, yet it does not mean that he will be fired. He can be sure that he will not be fired. It is interesting to talk about my faults and yet be sure that powers that be will not take any action against you.

In the end, lamar lets Vincent go and here we see an incredible amount of trust. Lamar breaks the rules in order to help him. He does not need any reward, just knows that it is good to let him go, that choice is more important than genetics. He can be egoistical and not let him go but he does not do that.

Black Hawk Down

The greater the danger, the greater the need to trust others. Sense of danger outside and safety-trust within small communitiy-company. Soldiers did not want to be there but they need to trust-genuinely, otherwise “college-friends” would not help each other. If they were only colleagues and did not trust but needed each other, there would not be trust, trust has to be mutual, reciprocal and voluntary, not based on any other need, for example a need of a machine-gun man in the squad to feel safe. They were heroes, but not willingly, nobody asked them to be heroes. They were doing a good thing not in order to get medals but because it is good to be good.

Dona Perfecta

Rey is in a casino, saddened by the consipiracy against him by his „nearest ones“ and complacency of others. He is desparate until he meets Don Tafetan and the Troy girls. Here the juxtaposition is obvious – sadness, lies vs. Frivolity and honesty. Girls, although poor are much better companions than rich landowners and chruch members (who are equal in statues to Rey). I imagine Rey walking around the sombre town where everyone looks at him with suspicion but in a direct contatct makes cordial gestures towards him. The lies destroy him and he hates the town until he meets Tafetan and girls, now, suddenly everything changes into it s opposite. He gets and feels trust, understanding and uprightness amid this sombre surrounding. It is basically a test if there is at least someone to trust and the test comes positive. Rey finds consolation in the lowest of the low.


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