Our family and friends, our co-workers, our boss…?
Have you ever noticed there doesn’t seem to be a lot of trust anymore? We tend not to trust our government, our companies, our coworkers, the media, our neighbors. Heck, we’re even suspicious about the motives of our own relatives. It wasn’t always like this. We used to openly trust people and never feared political back stabbing. Alas, no more. We used to leave our house and cars unlocked; even going so far as to loan a friend a car with no questions asked. Again, no more. When we delegated a task or responsibility to someone, we knew it would be completed properly. No more.
It is natural to gravitate to people we trust, and it’s understandable as to why:
We respect their judgment.
We value their opinion.
We feel free to exchange ideas and thoughts with them, including secrets.
Think about it, aren’t these the attributes of a true friend or business colleague? In other words, they exhibit the same moral values we do, if not better. When a trust is broken though, it is difficult if not impossible to repair, and our interpersonal relationships rapidly deteriorate.
The decline of trust denotes a change in our culture and not necessarily for the better. I believe it indicates a more permissive and immoral society whereby a person’s word is no longer his/her bond and people become more concerned with self-preservation as opposed to the welfare of others around them. In other words, the decline of trust represents a splintering of people. As an example, instead of delegating responsibility and empowering people to do their job, we tend to micromanage their activities, which is an open admission we do not trust their judgment. This leads to discontent among the workforce and promotes individualism over teamwork.
As indicated earlier, building trust is a difficult task, particularly if it is broken. The best thing is not to break it in the first place. To build or restore trust it is necessary to offer some visible demonstration of trust, be it something as simple as delivering on a promise, maintaining a confidence, or lending a helping hand when push comes to shove. Speaking from experience, it is always comforting to know that someone is watching your backside as opposed to your wallet.
Regarding the diminishing role of our national motto, “In God We Trust,” some would say this is simply an issue regarding the separation of church and state. As for me, I see it as another sign of the decline of our culture. If we cannot trust God, regardless of our religious denomination, who can we trust?
Keep the Faith!