Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Today my thoughts are about trust. And in thinking about that I came to a realization that one can’t love, be charitable, have faith, good relationships with others, be motivated or even glad, without trust. Trust is what is at the root of security. Trust is the belief that those close to us are not back-stabbers, have no hidden agendas, and have a consistency of character that will not waver.

If relationships are rocky, if friendships are tattered, it is likely that the real root of the problem is a lack of trust. So then one has to consider if a lack of trust is because one has real reason to feel pernicious, suspicious, or cynical or because of human nature or because of DNA. And if researchers could just be trusting enough to view such an investigation as something worthwhile, they might get right on it. A recent issue of "Time" magazine has an article on understanding why some people are shy. Amazingly it is more than environment that makes a person shy, there seems to be physical causes as well that are linked to shorter chains of DNA. Because trust is an emotional state such as shyness, I can’t help but feel optimistic that research might also investigate causes of trust or distrust sometime very soon.

It seems to me that if we paid homage to trust, more attention to trust, if each one of us understood trust, and why we need to be trusting, we would not be in the mess we are currently in. It was not an enemy of aggression that started the Iraq War but lack of trust. Right now society is clamoring for something better but there is no one we can trust. Deceitful acts like corruption, lying and cheating are the weapons of mass destruction of our trust.

Back in what was called the Dirty thirties, people lost hope because they lost trust that some day things would be better, some day there would be jobs, and money to cloth and feed their families. Hope, charity, faith, and love flow from a feeling of trust. It’s hard to give money to a beggar, if you feel distrustful that begging is an act of deceit and that in real life the beggar is better off than the beggee. When a boss demonstrates strong loyalty to an employee one day and uses that same employee the next day as a scape- goat, there goes our trust. And likewise, many believers with strong faith lose that faith when some great disaster plows into them and slams them in the face. Because they think God allowed it, they lose their trust in God.

A hot topic nowadays is child discipline. Everyone focuses on methodology, but the reason the discipline of children is such a controversial issue has little to do with methodology. It has more to do with the psychological effects on a child’s trust. No matter how discipline is exercised, it must be applied in a way that will not affect children’s trust and their sense of security. What needs to be preserved at all costs is their trust in their parents’ unconditional love because this is the stuff that is ultra-important through all of life’s successes and defeats.

Can you imagine for one Utopian-minute what we would feel like if we could trust our children, our partners, our God, our politicians, our doctors, our lawyers, our educators, our teachers, our law enforcement, and all our countrymen, domestic as well as international, and last but not least – the weatherman. That would be security. Border security, security from war, security of jobs, security of faith, and security in government. Man, it couldn’t get much better than that, could it?

But the problem with trust is, like love it is a two-way street. One can only really love those who give love back and one can only trust those who, because of their own trust, are trustworthy. That’s one of the problems. The other problem is how hard it is to continue to be trusting in a society where most people think that trusting souls are just bloody naïve. But the upside is that in a trusting relationship, though opinions might be as far removed as the North Pole is from the South, security is never threatened even amidst an exchange of angry words.


Blogger Eleanor said...

Very well said indeed ... as always! :)

9:48 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Thank you, Eleanor.

9:22 AM  

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