What is Trust and what are its Implications in Life?  

Posted by Plato Greybeard

    Let's consider the important topic of trust and what it means when it is present or when it is missing in various aspects of our lives. I'm sure we would all agree that trust is important and desirable, but, unfortunately, it can be a fragile commodity.

     First of all, what does it mean to trust another person? Is trust logical or emotional?
     One of the most important areas where trust plays a paramount role is in that of intimate relationships. It holds couples together and deepens and adds significance to their feelings for each other. It also makes them vulnerable to emotional distress.

     Other areas where trust is important is in business and professional relationships. You want your doctor to be credentialed and experienced and your pilot to know how to fly. Otherwise, trust is going to be lacking.

     Trust by the electorate in their government is essential for democracy to function. In the US, we can rant and rave about the failings and shortcomings of Republicans/Democrats/Tea Partiers, but we ultimately trust that they will somehow manage the affairs of the republic. This is made more difficult when we read about greed, corruption and graft by those in positions of trust. Also, we must ignore the ignorance of the electorate when they elect a stupid person to office, and continue trust in the process.

     An area where we seem to place a great deal of trust, perhaps not always deservedly so, is in the print and broadcast media. The fourth estate wields an astounding amount of influence which is particularly disheartening when they cannot be trusted to deliver their version of the way things ought to be without downright lying.

     How and why is trust established in the beginning? What makes a person trustworthy? What could cause the rupture of a trusting relationship, and is it possible to reestablish one once broken? Under what conditions is it desirable to reestablish a trusting relationship?

     What are some behavioral characteristics that would indicate a lack of trust? What is the relationship between "trust" and "commitment"? Is one obligated to trust in the absence of a commitment?

     As Ronald Reagan famously said, "Trust, but verify." Isn't this self-contradictory?
     Can you ever trust another person if you know you yourself to be untrustworthy?

This entry was posted on January 26, 2011 at Wednesday, January 26, 2011 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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