Sunday, November 06, 2005

It's All About Trust

Is it just me or is there less trust around these days? Seriously, how likely are we to trust someone as our first impulse?

As I look around I think that trust is made noticeable by its scarcity these days. ANd this is our loss. Trust is an important part of how we are able to work together. Trust is a lubricant in human relationships. Without it the gears get stuck, the progress stops, and things get hotter and hotter.

So what to do? How do we rebuild the network of trust? First we remember that trust is a two way street. It is both given and earned (in what is, hopefully, an ever-increasing spiral). Second, it is easier to build trust than to rebuild it once damaged (there is truth to "once bitten, twice shy"). Third, we have to take ownership of our part in the equation--it is not enough to say "trust me" nor is it enough to say "I will only trust you when you prove you can be trusted".

To trust someone is an act of faith. It is risky. ANd we are always told to minimize our risks, to be careful, to protect ourselves. SOund advice, but there are limits. If we never take the risk then trust is never built. If we assume that nobody else worries about our interests then we never learn to really work together. And if that happens then much of our social network breaks down (I suspect much of our economic system would follow shortly). And we all lose.

Take a chance, trust someone just a little bit. It may open a door to a whole new way of seeing each otehr. It may make the world a better place.

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