the mystery of trust

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Recent media frenzy about well known people and their financial affairs seems to carry with it a cloak of significance way beyond a few thousand pounds of tax liability.  This isn’t really about David Cameron’s tax return or Gianni Infantino’s true knowledge, this is about a deeper, more intangible thing.  A thing which carries great weight, even though we can’t see it, hear it or touch it … trust.

Trust in our institutions has been declining.  The Edelman Trust Barometer evidences this. Trust in government, organisations, leaders has in some cases recovered recently after years of decline.  Buy, as the Dutch say…

Trust arrives on foot but leaves on horseback

Hard to win, easy to lose.

Yet in much of our lives we show huge trust. We happily buy on the internet from organisations we know little about, who often have no physical presence. Sometimes we make those choices based on ratings from other consumers, who we’ve never met, will never know, without awareness for their context… yet we trust their reviews. We book rooms on AirBNB. Rooms in people’s houses. Happy to stay with a complete stranger often on the basis of a few positive comments from previous guests. All on the face of it, significant leaps of faith and dripping in this thing called trust.

In some contexts it’s so important. We like to be trusted and to show trust. Sometimes trust is so easy to gain, yet often easy to lose, and hard to re-gain.

We seek it like an elixir.
We value and covet it like gold.
It unlocks so much, like a magic key.
And we can feel so incensed, so emotive, when we feel trust has been betrayed or lost.

Strange that something so hard to define, so intangible, is so real?

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