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TRUST: the expedient floating of a dependence above nature's secrecy and deception


Trust is a relationship of dependence that is suspended precariously aloft at an altitude assumed to be above the mists and shadows of secrecy and deception. Fuelled by a distillate of concord and goodwill and flown in settled meteorological conditions, it provides for an elevated overview of the terrain and spectacular views of inspiring distant skylines. Such a trust condition however, is a state of extreme vulnerability. It relies for example... amongst other things... upon an adequate supply of fuel and the stability of the weather. If lack of fuel or deteriorating meteorological conditions result in the flight descending into the world of deception, its termination is almost inevitable.

Most social situations require trust on a temporary basis. A society is organised on the basis of role and resource distribution, so that every time a social transaction is enacted or an organised activity is participated in, some level of trust is required from one or both parties involved. For recreation, if you are going to seriously consider getting wafted aloft by hundreds of cubic feet of hot air, you need to consider whether or not the balloon pilot is sufficiently trained and experienced before you end up in a wicker basket at several thousand feet. Once up there of course, you might also like to reflect on the competence and quality control of the manufacturers and designers that constructed the wondrous elevation device that you now find yourself suspended in. In your professional life, if you rely on honour and fame for your fortune, the friendliness of an interviewing journalist is not a very good indicator as to whether any divulged private secrets will be respected. In the political domain, trusting a politician politically would be a very high risk enterprise. On a regular basis, you are obliged to trust individuals like your doctor, dentist and bus-driver until such time as you consider that trust has been betrayed, whereupon you are then obliged to vest your trust elsewhere.

Trust is the acceptance of a state of vulnerability. Because deception is nature's strategy for promoting self-interest and is necessary for many facets of life, being confronted with the possibility of obtaining some benefit by trust occurs all the time. One must evaluate the risks associated with each circumstance and plan to limit the potential losses if it transpires that the trust is betrayed. Most individuals are prepared to trust at least one intimate in order to enrich and fulfil their existence and to experience love and happiness. Everyone who has abandoned secreting their gold bars under the potting shed end up being obliged to trust at least one bank or investment company to secure their financial interests. Everyone has to learn to fly or trust a pilot, train to be a doctor or trust the medical profession. If you don't grow your own vegetables, you are forced to trust the market gardeners that they have not used toxic pesticides on the produce. When an opportunity presents itself, trusting that a new sexual partner is free of sexually transmitted diseases is often irresistible, but such trust is very often sadly misplaced.

Mutual trust is the basis of any enduring and reciprocated friendships. Humans and their pets will have friendships that depend upon the levels of trust that are exchanged. Soldiers and climbers and miners are all obliged to trust their comrades because their life could depend upon it. A family without mutual trust is a pale dysfunctional effigy of it potential. The sustaining of a trust relationship between two individuals is one of the most satisfying of life's experiences, and contributes in no small measure to any level of happiness that each is able to attain.

If there is no highly probable reciprocal advantage to be realized, it can be very dangerous to enter into a trust relationship. The oft vaunted trusting personality only survives if it has an extensive support network prepared to continually pick up the pieces. The stranger invited inside can quickly become a threat. Trusting mining companies to restore the environment after they have extracted the minerals is not a practical course of action. Trusting parents to provide for their own children, proves to be socially detrimental more often than should be ignored. Whilst individuals are obliged to be trusting in many situations, society cannot trust its members to behave in a manner that will suit everyone... the creation of laws and their consequences is the only pragamtic option.


CONTENTS 076 TRUST NEXT