Trust (vissàsa or saddahati) is to assume or believe that someone is good, honest and means no harm. The English word comes from Middle English trewe and is related to the word `true'. To trust someone is an act of generosity towards and the greatest courtesy you can pay them. People appreciate being trusted and usually make sure the trust given them is justified. To be worthy of trust requires fidelity to the Precepts. When we are trustworthy ourselves and trust others, we make a genuine and important contribution towards a more pleasant and harmonious society. We also make friends of true worth. This is probably why the Buddha refered to trust as `the best relative' (vissàsa paramà ¤àtã, Dhp. 204). The Jàtaka says: `One who is worthy of your trust and who trusts you in return, who listens to you and is patient with you, follow him wherever he goes' (Ja.IV,525).
Because trust is unburdened by hesitation and doubt and because it opens us out to certain possibilities, it has an important part to play in spiritual development. Some people may accept the Dhamma after pondering over it with wisdom, which is entirely admirable. However, that is not the only approach. Other people may hear the Dhamma and simply trust what they hear. Such people, the Buddha said, have `entered a fixed course of rightness, have entered the plane of the superior person and transcended the plane of ordinary worldly people. They will not do any deed that could result in rebirth in any of the lower realms, and before their life ends they will attain the first stage of enlightenment' (S.III,225). See Faith and Faithfulness.