#2 Conversations Concerning Trust

As I was thinking of possible topics to pursue, I ended up in all my thoughts coming back to the idea of trust.  I believe that many of the struggles that the world experiences today emerge from a lack of trust.  If nations do not trust each other there ends up being a war or some other conflict.  If more people had more trust I think that the world would be a happier, more connected place.  I interviewed two people that I know well:  my mom and a family friend.  I was fascinated by the similarities and differences between the interviews.   The interviews began with the question “When you think of the idea of trust, what do you think of?”.  I was surprised to hear them both express “openness” as one of their first thoughts.  My family friend also said “personal safety”, and “relying on a person or people…to be authentic”.  My mom also mentioned “choosing to trust even if the circumstances might seem discouraging”.  I agreed with parts of both of the responses.  I thought that my family friend’s response was a good definition of trust.  I thought that my mom’s response was true for her but maybe not for everybody, including myself.  I think that some people have gotten to a place where they can choose to trust and choose not to trust, but I think for others trusting is not a decision but more of a feeling or an automatic understanding.  I find that this response especially shows up in children, maybe that is why I feel this way.

My mom said something that I took special note of – she said that often a relationship is stronger after there is a break in trust and then that trust is redeemed.  I fully agreed with her opinion on this and I think that the trust and the relationship are stronger afterwards.

Another one of the questions I asked was what they thought the opposite of trust was.  My family friend said the words “lie” and “false” came to her.  My mom said “confusion”, “fear”, and “uncertainty” are the opposite of trust.  For me the opposite of trust is fear; I think that many people who do not trust are fearful.  I am sometimes fearful if I do not trust someone or a situation.

One of my final questions was if the world operated out of trust, how would it operate and did they think it was possible.  The answers I got were “yes it is possible, there’s some distance between here and there, but it is possible…in that world, kind intentions and actions will be the norm…people won’t feel afraid of their own or other people’s choices, thoughts, or actions” from my mom, and my family friend expressed that “it would operate a lot more openly because we have thoughts and perceptions that we don’t share with other people…we would know people’s intentions and motivations”.

I learned a lot from these two interviews and I was able to broaden my understanding of trust and my understanding of how other people feel about trust.  I don’t know if it is possible for the whole world to operate out of trust, but I do know that things spread and if I increase the amount of trust in the people I know and they do the same then maybe it will spread across the world.  Right now we are reaching for trust.

Featured image: Shadow of reaching hands

Trust.” Telephone interview. 21 Sept. 2017.

“Trust.” 20 Sept. 2017.

Sydney Taft Cole

2 Responses to “#2 Conversations Concerning Trust

  • I found myself nodding along to your thoughts here, Sydney, especially the idea that “many of the struggles that the world experiences today emerge from a lack of trust.” This feels intuitively true to me.

    What do you think some of these struggles are specifically? I wonder if any of these issues are currently affecting the state of Vermont. Also, I’m curious if you know of any areas or issues where trust among people *is* present, and how that affects things?

    Don’t feel obligated to address each one of these questions; I just pose them to spark some further thinking on this interesting topic. I look forward to see where you take this.

    • Hi Bob,
      Some of the struggles that I think of that the world currently experiences are war, civil war, unfair treatment or racism, etc. War and civil war, I think are pretty self explanatory in terms of happening out of distrust. I think unfair treatment or racism could result from a lack of trust because if the offender did not understand something about the other person, the offender might not treat the other person fairly. I am not sure what particular struggles are happening in Vermont other than things such as some people feeling fearful and some people lying.

      I know for myself, I have trust with my close friends and knowing that, I feel safe and comfortable with them.

      Thank you for your comments, Bob!
      – Sydney

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