I’ve just finished a piece on Blockchain and Love, and in it I reference an old irish proverb I came across earlier this year.
“When mistrust comes in, love goes out.”
In the writing of that piece, I realised I really needed to get curious on what Trust means. What does it mean to trust a person, a process, a product? When you break it down, it’s not actually the “thing” that we trust, but it’s behaviours, performance and actions that sway us one way or the other. It’s tied into our values, and these things change as our circumstances change.
I believe that before we can consider this question as a society, I believe we need to examine it for ourselves. So, what does this trust look like for me, and what does it mean for you?
Below are some questions that you can ask and answer for yourself, so that as you consider Trust in a broader sense, you know your own baseline. I’ve shared the thoughts that come to mind for me – I’m sure you will have a different set of results which I encourage you to share in the comments.
What does it mean to trust yourself?
- Do you know how to ask, listen, trust, act, based on your own inner voice?
- Love of myself
What does it mean to trust your loved ones?
- They know how to look after themselves – they keep their own cup full
- They’re there for me when you I them to be
- They have my interests at heart (after taking care of themselves)
- They love me
- They do what they say they’re going to do
- They don’t cheat on you or lie to me
- They are not abusive in how they treat me, including the words used
- They can look after our child when I go out
What does it mean to trust your neighbour?
e.g. Friendly; Reliable; Honest. What do these words really mean to you:
- They greet me with a smile
- They come over when I invite them over for a chat / coffee / beer / BBQ
- They invite me back
- I can borrow something if I need to
- They will return what they borrow in a timely manner and in good condition
- I can drop the child over if I have to
- They’ll feed the cat when we’re away
- They’ll share what they have in the event of an emergency
- They don’t have raging parties every night
- They don’t start the lawn mower at 7am
- Not doing criminal activities next door
- They’re not laundering money or financing terrorism
- They pay their taxes
- They pay their bills; repay their debts
- They don’t lie, cheat or steal
- They are considerate
What does it mean to trust your friends?
- They are fun, they love me, feel good around them
- I can feel crap around them too and they’ll be there for me
- They’ll be vulnerable around me and accept help from me too
- They catch you when I’m down
- They have my interests at heart
- They don’t hit on my loved one
- They don’t take my stuff
What does it mean to trust a Business?
There is belief in a promise –
- their product or service is fit for purpose
- they have values I agree with and they honour them
- They don’t rip me off
- They pay their taxes
- They pay their people fairly
- They treat their people fairly
- They are inclusive / support diversity
- They don’t tolerate “power over” activities #metoo
- They don’t sell your data; nor use it to manipulate an outcome
What does it mean to trust a Government?
- They are not corrupt
- They protect public interests, including land
- They provision for basic human rights and safety
As you contemplate the above, consider trust at a basic human rights level. What is necessary to trust that you can access:
- Loving safe relationships
- Spiritual nourishment
- Water, food, shelter
- Health, education, a financial system
And how does trust play a part at an environmental level, for example:
- Clean waterways
- Reduction in CO2
- Healthy oceans – removal of plastics
- Retention of natural lands; sacred lands
- Clean air
The more we understand what trust means for us and how it creates space for love in our own lives, the more effective we can be at including this in our contributions to society and the environment through our work and service.