Lincoln Blogs

The Importance of Trust
November 7, 2006, 9:46 pm
Filed under: School Papers

On his march through Asia Minor, Alexander the Great fell ill. The only physician willing to treat him was his friend Phillip, for the others feared that they would be suspected of malpractice if they failed. While Phillip prepared the medicine, Alexander received a letter saying that Phillip had been bribed to poison his master. Alexander kept the letter, and when Phillip came in, showed it to him as he drank the medicine. After reading the letter, Phillip threw himself at the king’s bedside, but Alexander assured him that he had confidence in his honor. Three days later, Alexander appeared before his army, completely healed.

Alexander was a loyal man for trusting his friend in this situation. He was the king of Macedonia and one of the most successful military commanders in history. Before his death, he conquered most of the world known to the ancient Greeks.

Trust is extremely important in any friendship. Alexander proved that in this instance. If he had trusted the writer of the letter rather than stayed loyal to his friend, he might have died. Alexander demonstrates that a person should choose wisely whom he trusts.

Consider this example: A football player is bribed by the coach of another team to give him their playbook. The player’s coach gets word of this, but trusts his player completely. He doesn’t change his plays out of fear that the other coach knows them. The player is loyal to his coach as well. The coach has justified trust in his player, and the player does not let him down.

Just as the 300 soldiers of Gideon trusted Gideon to lead them against the Midianites, even after he made some seemingly dubious decisions when he cut thousands of troops, so Alexander trusted Phillip.

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

Whether he was dealing with his troops, or with the physician Phillip, Alexander always chose carefully and wisely who he trusted. In this regard, we all should strive to be like Alexander the Great.


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