Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trust Lost, Earned and Achieved

What is trust, and why is it important to us? We all know people who can't trust, who often expect things to go bad, ignore what they know, leap quickly into action without accessing the risk, and push others away. What can we do to develop trust?

"Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement."
- Golda Meir

Trusting yourself can be a matter of listening to your own inner voice as a source of wisdom and strength. We can do this as long as doubt and fear do not get in the way, with questions like: what if I am making a mistake? What was I thinking? Why would anyone listen to me? Developing self trust can take a great deal of patience and self-forgiveness. We first must learn to minimize our regrets and see our mistakes as opportunities. We need to rely on confidence instead of approval.

"Wise men put their trust in ideas and not in circumstances" Ralph Waldo Emerson

By advising us to trust the ideas of men, not the events in their lives, Emerson expresses his belief that history was biography. This is a form of trusting others outside of convention, namely, trusting in the ideas of men and how they shape our lives.

"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence." TS Eliot

Trust between people is the most widely studied form of trust. Stanford's Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines trust as: an attitude that we have towards people whom we hope will be trustworthy, where trustworthiness is a property, not an attitude. For trust to be warranted (i.e. plausible) in a relationship, the parties to that relationship must have attitudes toward one another that are conducive to trusting one another. Moreover, for trust to be warranted (i.e. well-grounded), both parties ought to be trustworthy.

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much." Mother Teresa

We see from this statement by Mother Teresa, that trust in something greater than ourselves, in a divine organization to life, or in God can work both ways. Having faith that everything will be alright, that tomorrow will come or that the Lord provides, are all examples of trust in creation.

What do YOU think?


veryheaven said...

QUOTING YOU: We all know people who can’t trust, who often expect things to go bad, ignore what they know, leap quickly into action without accessing the risk, and push others away. What can we do to develop trust?
may i put this case in here to discuss sth out of real life?
a week ago - on mothers day (!!) a female client of mine nearly died. her soon-to-be husband hit her almost to death. 2 days hospital. WHY?
because a 22 year young male clerk at the gas station next door(both are frequent visitors) asked her sth about her life and work, wanted to visit them in their studio to see paintings and get to know them better. the soon-to-be-ex-man told my client, this young dude only wanted to f*** her. accused his woman of being untrue. hit her with his fists in the belly, rips, shook her head wild, hit her head two times against the wall. kicked her down the stairs in the lobby of their appt.
1) can or should she EVER put TRUST in him again?
2) if she forgives him, what MUST HE DO?
3) should she inform the police?
4) Will God forgive him - when, how and why?
5) characterize / profile him: psychopath, mentally ill, a lost soul?
(seriously addicted to: drugs, sex, alcohol for 20 years)

Janet said...

I feel trust is something that we learn from a young age. Starting with our first relationships with our family, then friendships and our religious beliefs. We become the sum total of our life experiences as we grow. I feel we learn to trust ourselves when we grow up in a secure environment and are encouraged and loved for who we are. For example it is known children that who grow up in alcoholic homes know something is wrong, but when they try to talk about it they are often told, no it is not true or sees that everyone is ignoring the problem,so they lose trust in their feelings and eventually themselves. Growing up with a religion that teaches trusting their God can help a person renew that trust in themselves and others around them. I think it is one of our hierarchy of needs, to trust and be trusted. One of our natural instincts in human beings I feel. Thanks for inviting me to this discussion.

Molly Brogan said...

I like the idea that a sacred space in relationship is established when there is mutual honesty, appreciation and safety. Trust can flourish in such circumstances. Your clients, veryheaven, have much bigger problems of survival to solve before trust can be developed. We are fortunate indeed, if our families provide us with the security we need to develop trust at an early age. And yet so many of us survive toxic families, discover our worth, and go on to provide trust and love to all those around us. It can be done. Not easily sometimes, with so much cynicism and fear in the world.

Francis said...

On the other hand, there is the old Russian proverb, "Dowjerai, no prowjerai." (Trust, but check!) :-)

Evita said...

I think mutual honesty is huge as is honest communication. I think the easiest way to lose trust is when people do not communicate openly and honestly.

But on another note, I think that one cannot hold back trust based on past experience with others. I think it limits and almost paralyzes one if they live in fear or distrust of others due to some past experience. Sure one has to use some caution, but it is easier to live for oneself when they can look at each person and situation brand new.

Felix said...

I think there are two different distinct
forms of 'trust' which you bring up. One is the 'trust' that a
sequence of events will turn out 'alright'. The second is trust in
people. The one is metaphysical and the second intersubjective.

I do have one caveat for the absolute yielding to 'trust' in the
metaphysical sense: Hitler. He trusted in the universe to make his
fatalistic plan come out alright. The problem was, his plan was
inherently anti-social, murderous, etc. How is the 'trust in yourself'
model to work if your 'self' wishes for such things?

Perhaps my example is too sensationalist. But, how is one to know one's 'self' as some absolute and non-determined being? How are we to know our desires in a consumer economy intent on channeling our desires into consumption and controlling us thusly? We cannot follow our 'hearts' when we, ourselves, have no control over them!

Curtis said...

Trust is something I struggle with every day as a teacher of juvenile delinquents. If I trust them, I sometimes get burned. However, if I don't trust them, I become cynical. I prefer being an idealist and getting burned once in a while to not trusting. Just comes with the territory...

Stacey said...

There all also those who trust too easily and often get hurt because of it...

Morgan said...

I think ones ability to know when to trust and when not to comes from ones abilty to identify patterns and make rational predictions based off of those patterns.

Lee said...

Yes Felix yes!

One should try to trust ones own judgement even if that judgment is
wrong by societies standards, at least you can say that you have been
true to your self.

Ultimately we are all rather selfish, seeing things as we all do through the monovisioned lens of 'Self'. We shall trust our selves, and we shall place greatest trust in those most like us, should we endeavour then to open up and be more trustworthy to those not like us, and thus become more trusting? Is this even possible?

Brenda said...

My husband and I were observing the importance of trust the other day while watching reality TV! It did not escape our attention that in season after season of Survivor (a game that's set-up as a win-lose situation with only one winner, and a game played with a high degree of deception) that when it comes down to the final vote over who wins, a large percentage of eliminated players (now on a jury) will cast their vote based on who they perceive played the game most honestly, or who didn't betray them specifically. Trust and betrayal are intensely personal issues ... even in game play!

ornamentalmind said...

Lee said "One should try to trust ones own judgement even if that judgment is wrong by societies standards, at least you can say that you have been true to your self. "


Felix said...

Or anarchy?

Lee said...

To some extent OM I do find that a pleasing idea.

Felix said...

This still does not solve the Hitler/Dahmer issue.

Lee said...

I take it you mean the issue of self regulation rather than being
fiscally responsible for your self?

Then we indeed move into the realm of anarchy. Again an idea that I
find myself somewhat attracted to.

The 'fix' for such issues of people like Hitler and Dalhmer would
then be at the least ostracism from the group, or downright 'doing
away' with them, once their crimes become known.

Of course no idea is 100% sound, and there are such issues with the
concept of anarchy that I can't live with.

My remarks though about trusting ones own judgment, where really as a
backup to my post about mankind being 'Selfish'.

Molly Brogan said...

I think that this kind of self regulation and actualization is possible more and more as globally, we enter into the age of ethics. Because the exchange of information is now instantaneous, a Hitler experience is no longer possible. The fact that a good percentage of us carries cell phones with video and audio recording, mandates that we all be cognizant of what we say and do in public. Not much can be hidden anymore. Conspiracy theories aside, this is actually a very good thing and will user us from the information age into the age of ethics. Why couldn't anarchy become a natural state when ethics are included and domination is no longer possible?

Felix said...

Anarchy is, truly, a wonderful utopia to be wished for. That I do not deny. However, the notion that Hitler could not happen in this global society is, for lack of a better phrase, a rather naive statement. Darfur is a horror on the same scale, perpetrated as we speak. They are, of course, structurally different events. But this is the type of horror is even more insidious in that it does not follow the bureaucratic Taylorism of Hitler (another American invention!). It is 'irrational' (meaning not related to the rationalization of modern society [cf. Weber]) and thus more difficult to uncover. Milosovic is another example (of course, as his popularity is again on the rise in his part of the world, don't tell anyone I said that...). The ruling junta in Burma... The Chinese oppression of human rights in Tibet (and throughout their nation, actually). The list could continue...

As for autarky... that concept is as utopian as anarchy.

Molly Brogan said...

I think that there is a difference between undeveloped countries that
inflict indignities on their own citizens, and expansionist countries
who war and overtake other countries while committing atrocities and genocide. But I could be wrong. In the big view, people need a square one and balance is achieved in the mix.

Thomas said...

You are almost correct,if one looks at South Africa ,or my border Zimbabwe ,one could come up with a similar conclusion.

Molly Brogan said...

Would you compare this to WWII?

Thomas said...

Yes I would.

Felix said...

Truth be known, I fail to see the difference. Many of the Jews *were* citizens of Germany (or France, or Hungary, etc.). At any rate, the murderers 'trust' in their own views of the world. I do agree that an ethical age would supplant much of this (not is perfectly 'ethical' to use capital punishment in the States...) murderous behavior. However, that is a junction between normatively determined ethics and 'trust', not 'blind' trust.

Molly Brogan said...

Well, I think that as the personal computer ushered us into the age of information, the personal communication device will usher us into the age of ethics. With communications technology developing at an accelerated rate, there is little happening in the world that is hidden anymore. Sure there are areas of the world that are underdeveloped and operating at the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy. Could this be part of the grand design as well? Can we trust that it is?

Brian said...

That qoute from Mother Teresa definitely hit the nail on the head... I used to feel like that all the time actually.

I've been into higher consciousness for maybe 6-7 years now, and while I knew there was a divine force creating circumstances to mold me, I often felt like the stuff I was going through was a really "unfair."

With great power comes great responsibility, and looking back on it, I realize that the Creator trusted me more than I trusted myself.

Without getting into detail, I grew from all my challenging situations. If it wasn't for this constant "unfairness", I wouldn't be who I am today.

With a spiritual mindstate, my unfortunate circumstances served to build my self-confidence from a metaphysical aspect.

Neil said...

I think nearly everything still is hidden - largely so that an elite can still prosper by making decisions about what the rest of us don't know. WMD is a recent classic and perhaps the best farce was the Suez Crisis (get Israel to invite Egypt so the Brits and French could take over in a policing action). Fukuyama wrote a very mad book on trust with little attention to an age of ethics. My guess is that we actually have a knowledge society based on Taylorism- Fordism and a competitive advantage that relies on secrecy and barriers to entry - very much enemies of open society. Of course, one doesn't exactly want to share WMD technology with mad religious groups, though we have been selling 'whiskey and repeating rifles to the Indians' for a long time (metaphor with apologies). Technology, in another sense, could help us to a more ethical, leaderless society of peace - but the 'technology' of a few men with guns is very powerful and this remains part of the 'technology of rip- off economics'. Trust would be key in any real change, but we are repeatedly mugged by trusting, even in terms of self-awareness (Steven Pinker's long work on Mind). Taylorism (stripped of his democratic leanings) has become that dreadful managerialism of men and women in suits that has fulfilled Weber's pessimism on bureaucracy and politics is amongst us like an Undead. Taylor was somekind of anal compulsive. I used to do work study (still have the 100 second stopwatch) and can vouch that no one trusted in efficiency being fair. We simply cannot rely on technologies of efficiency and should be able to do so. What we get is downsizing, business process re-engineering, right-sizing and HRM - all of which fuck-up lives rather than making them better. One wants the efficiency, but also the decent, long-term, pension protected jobs. We get bullshit and crappier and crappier jobs and conditions of employment. Trust might be thought of in terms of access to justice and most of us have little of that - much less than we think I'd guess. There's a lot of good stuff in this thread - but how can we move towards practical solutions? A feminist writer (Susan ?) wrote a book called 'Stiffed' in describing the lives of American men stiffed by the loss of jobs and security. It's a good word and very relevant to discussion of trust. Generally, trust is connected with transparency - so what do we do - we create accounting systems so cloudy $7750 for every soul on the planet is 'invested' in collateral derivative options no one can trade
because the secret that they are hiding places for crap is out. We
need to change this 'technology'. I would have been able to beat Spassky and Fischer at chess with such a technology of cheating! In a sense, we do not trust ourselves to 'take over'. We need to be able to do this and recognise we need to change the system so we don't become just the next set of bosses, just like the old boss, presenting our asses to the working-class. There is no point in creating our anarchist utopia and leaving guns in the hands of mad religionists seeking to form the next empire. No point in deceiving ourselves either that the West is not an empire. Somewhere we need to find trust that allows us to work and build with new forms of motivation, to new ends in knowledge of our foibles.

We have legal systems because we are 'untrustworthy' and lying is a routine matter for most of us. The fact that we don't trust each other and cannot rely on each other is used in all manner of contractual specification. Trust, in the end, relies on transparency, evidence and demonstration - an area where lying can be defeated. Our political systems lack this and competitive advantage often relies on secrecy and power in creating 'reality'.

I tend to trust science (generally) as it has to demonstrate its stories are true and maintain a true record. One cannot say this of politics and politicians, or trust people to know real history in decision making processes. We even have public choice theories based on people only being capable of making decisions in their own interests and thus which try to make any decision made by individuals be made in their personal economic interest and that interest tally with the public interest. The reality is Enron and fat cats who award themselves obscene salaries.

The 'inner voice' is important - yet as others have indicated could be the inner voice of Hitler or Blair, or some stereotyping nonsense. And inner voices are connected to habit. A society in which honesty actually was the best policy would change inner voices. I would guess most of us are struggling with voices that tell us society ain't right.

Molly Brogan said...

I am not sure how long ago the personal computer was introduced, but I do know that it was decades ago and it is still shaping society in ways we have not analyzed. This wonderful discussion is an example, is a product of the information age. The personal communication device was introduced to the market only a couple of years ago - with video and internet capability. The transition into the age of ethics has just begun and will take decades. It will be, I think, a fascinating transition. Our notions of trust will, out of necessity, become central and evolve. Sometimes, what we notice first, is the old falling away with deconstruction. What comes into being to fill the space is not as apparent.

ornamentalmind said...

Not 'strange' at all in my view Neil. To trust does require transparency. I find this quite a personal process...acquiring transparency of 'self'...which appears to be needed prior to much else. A small aside, I'm in the middle of Plato's "Phaedrus" and find it of some 'help' in clarifying the process.

I find that w/o personal insight, I am blind to everything including other people and their motives. So, even at that starting point, the axiom of 'trust but verify' has little use as I see it.

End of ramble.

ornamentalmind said...

Molly, IF you have the time, you might find Ralph's view of the information age of note. Here he addresses the Google family.

How do you see us moving into the age of ethics? IF you are connecting the computer with this transition, I suggest we need to look much closer than the computer. If not, I'm still interested in your vision.

Molly Brogan said...

Thanks, Orn, for the link. (I'm still listening.) It easy to see why Ralph Nader could not be elected. He certainly has a brilliant value in organizing and bringing issues to the forefront in ways that are not disruptive to society. He has done this, in fact, probably better than any other currently. I have always admired his call to participation, and his call reaches many ears. Much to be admired there. But his view is really limited to the (mean) green meme as he still expects change to come from outside in, and is already antiquated as he cannot see the value of the technology that the current coming of age generation sees so clearly.

His model for change is also outdated. He sees opposition (or injustice) as requirement for change. Indeed, this is how he has lived his life and provided a wonderful model for this. But I think that he can't see the value of technology because we are changing from an outside-in paradigm to an inside-out paradigm, one which no longer requires opposition for change. Good and evil exist, but no longer need to be our focus because we can change without good resolving the problems of evil. He has not moved beyond this himself. He sees "The sources of power" are outside of him - and their structures need to be broken. Very postmodern. Very important in its time. If we concentrate on the barriers to entry, will we ever enter? Or will we always find more barriers?

I loved that Neil introduced the idea of transparency into the discussion. This will be fundamental to the age of ethics. Because any conversation can be exposed, we will begin to behave in ways that are necessarily ethical. On the whole, the world superpowers currently do believe in human rights and empowerment. As more human rights indignities are exposed, they will also fall away, as global economies emerge and regional or national economies find it difficult to operate in isolation. Will thought follow action? As we act in ethical ways, our thought patterns will develop in those ways also - until we realize through the position of the witness - that the external structures need not dictate the internal structures. Then, we are free of even those limits.

Fear arising from concerns of "power" and "surveillance" come from those who have not yet discovered their personal power and have not realized transparency. Anyone watching my every move is very bored and must have MUCH better ways to spend their time. Why? Because I move ahead without opposing and generally, don't do or say anything that I wouldn't want everyone to know (transparency) Cries of naivete come from those that focus on barriers to entry and current problems. If we focus on the problem, it will remain the experience. If we focus on the solution, the problem will fall away with deconstruction and the solution will emerge. If we focus on the vision, and live as if it is the current paradigm, the world transforms. Jumping the curve to the next paradigm is bold. Let's be bold.

Neil said...

There is certainly a temptation just to jump in - perhaps wearing the right kit or whatever - and many reasons not to listen to the very cynical cries of naivete (which in-themselves are often very unknowledgable rather than wise). I'm generally inclined just to do things and present the success - usually it's stolen quickly enough. Just at the moment I want to find some real personal change as I'm tired by being tarnished or jaded by what happens around me - feeling that any real change will have to come a long way from the day-to- day. There is much more lying these days than ever before and no one seems really much interested in this as the cause of many problems and a collapse of trust. There is much in what Molly says on focus but something so rotten now exists in the State of Denmark we need to find a lot of energy. I watched a documentary on the religious right in the UK - strange that I agree with any of what they say, but I do. The lunacy puts me off (in some sense the use of 'focus' to evade facts and keep up idiot notions). It is difficult to know why we have so much difficulty in engaging passion that is less warped. I'm probably going to write a couple of books for money - yet I'd like to involve myself in social change - and yet I'm probably going to 'recluse' because I can't stand any more society. We are actually scared of transparency Molly (maybe not 'we') and my own experience has been that people trust not to trust a great deal, including the veracity of authorities and administrative power. My recent research has over 80% of people admitting to routine lying in their work and a lot of the same people believing they are doing the right thing with only a substantial minority believing the lying is killing what really needs doing. A bigger survey based thing came in at 68% recently - but would hit my figure if re-jigged to my assumptions and scale. I had meant to go on and find out just how often these bent figures are used and how - but the answer is obvious. Incidentally, there's a middle eastern version of 'trust' and many varieties of 'Omerta' - and a wonderful tribe who trust in each other to act like shits.

Francis said...

"On the whole, the world superpowers currently do believe in human rights and empowerment."

Molly, that's a hell of a statement to make - I don't see it. China? Ask the Tibetans, the beaten dissidents, (ordinary people you won't be allowed to ask anyway). Russia, with Czar Vladimir and Chechnya, silencing and - occasionally - murder of critics (journalists and others)? The USA? Ask the guys in Guantanamo - or the long-suffering people of Iraq! I often admire your optimism, Molly, but this time it goes to far.

Transparency. Sure, no problem. But I don't like a lot of what's being done with the information various agencies, companies, etc. have got about me. Junk mail, spam and annoying phone-calls (on the basis of my consumption patterns) are only the peak of a much more serious iceberg. What about when my application for a visa to visit the USA is turned down because some some official doesn't like some of the stuff I've been posting here. The old argument for control has always been: Why should you be worried about surveillance if you've got nothing to hide? There are hundreds of reasons, and some of them can be very painful.

Vamadevananda said...

Neil, I love you for the truth in what you wrote, even if nebulous !

Molly, your expectations and demands on consciousness are so linear they will mostly be contrary to human experience. That does not necessarily make it untrue, but incorporating the wakes and eddies in the path would render it closer to actual life, and more convincing. For instance, this bit about problems and solutions ; it is true that problems give way through being taken over by solutions. But what makes us, enables us, to lead our focus away from problems, which affect us so pathologically, to solutions ? It requires a spiritual evolution, even a revolution, as I see it and as I may term it ... a paradigm shift in the knowledge of what we are, what we are capable of, what our future is. It does not comes easy, nor is it commonplace ! Life tells me as much.

ornamentalmind said...

On the whole, I find myself not only ignorant about recent posts, I also find many appear to be saying the same thing over and over (from the same authors) and as a result, I sure feel stupid.

Neil said...

The bleeding obvious does rather bleed Orn.

Molly Brogan said...

One of the wonderful things about this group is that we take eachother as far as we can possibly go in any direction - and hold the space for more. If you continue to come at something from every different angle possible, will you eventually get there?

Lee said...

Or elewhere.

Neil said...

Vam has the principle right - yet I suspect there is an abyss. Francis is right, yet the problem is surely about what information should be transparent. 'Transparency' is now a management word and to be suspected as just manipulation. The abyss is probably the kind of thinking 'de-inspired' by economics - of a world of consuming consumers burning the planet as though this would be a good thing. China, India and the rest doing what the 'white-eyes' have been doing for the same wrong reasons. No doubt some doom will be sent to focus our attention because we can't think this through and need the divine intervention of cruel evolution? These 'cruel' thoughts can be very dispririting and could destroy the very passions we need to at least have a go at something different.

Pat said...

{chuckle} Yeah, God works in blatantly mysterious ways.

Neil said...

'Blatantly mysterious'! - I love it! Brilliant Pat - ROFL.

Pat said...

When I was in my teens, there was a bunch of us who used to profess 'blatant subtlety', which formed the basis of a particular style of humour. It just struck me as another appropriate juxtaposition. ;-)

Neil said...

There are many blatant mysteries and the actor's eyebrow is always blatant subtlety. The wasta was explained to me in Bahrain by some friends and I reviewed a Yes Minister for them in return - apparent cultural relativism often has a base in sameness. It's a good theme.