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20 Trust Quotes to Take Through Life

“Trust no one,” goes the famous tagline from The X-Files. It’s sound advice in a world under attack from aliens, ghosts, and all manner of fantastic creatures — but in the real world, trust is a trickier issue. A recent Pew Research survey found that young adults in the U.S. were particularly untrusting, and more likely to see others (including institutions and politicians) as selfish, exploitative, and untrustworthy.

While blind trust isn’t a good thing, a certain level of trust is important. Without it, we would be eternally suspicious and ultimately alone. As English novelist Graham Greene once wrote, “It is impossible to go through life without trust: that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.”

This idea — that trust is a fundamental necessity both personally and in wider human society — has been echoed by many famous writers, philosophers, politicians, and more. Here is a selection of wise words regarding trust, from the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus to the modern pop star Selena Gomez.

Do not trust all men, but trust men of worth; the former course is silly, the latter a mark of prudence.
Democritus

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Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
William Shakespeare

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Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.
Booker T. Washington

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I think we may safely trust a good deal more than we do. We may waive just so much care of ourselves as we honestly bestow elsewhere.
Henry David Thoreau

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You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.
Anton Chekhov

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It is a good maxim to trust a person entirely or not at all.
Henry Fielding, novelist

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Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust.
Albert Einstein

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A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts.
Harold Macmillan, former U.K. prime minister

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Before a cat will condescend to treat you as a trusted friend, some little token of esteem Is needed, like a dish of cream.
T.S. Eliot

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We grow in time to trust the future for our answers.
Ruth Benedict, anthropologist

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The way to make people trustworthy is to trust them.
Ernest Hemingway

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The best proof of love is trust.
Joyce Brothers, psychologist

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Don’t trust people who don’t laugh.
Maya Angelou

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Trust is like the air we breathe — when it’s present, nobody really notices; when it’s absent, everybody notices.
Warren Buffett

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Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.
Natalie Goldberg, author

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Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.
Stephen Covey, motivational author and speaker

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Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest.
Seth Godin, entrepreneur and author

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Trust is what actually enables society to keep moving forward; trust is what enables innovation to happen. Trust is the conduit that enables new ideas to travel.
Rachel Botsman, author

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If you have three people in your life that you can trust, you can consider yourself the luckiest person in the whole world.
Selena Gomez

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Photo credit: Blazej Lyjak/ Shutterstock

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About the Author
Tony Dunnell
Tony is an English writer of non-fiction and fiction living on the edge of the Amazon jungle.
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