But the people who came before you abused my trust

Emerson once wrote:

As the traveler who has lost his way throws his reins on his horse’s neck and trusts to the instinct of the animal to find his road, so must we do with the divine animal who carries us through this world.

But what if he wasn’t referring to about the imaginary bearded lifeguard in the sky? What if he was talking about actually people on the ground?

Because that’s where faith and trust play out on a daily basis. When two people relate to each other, the electricity that surges between them is what is divine.

And so, the more we put ourselves at the mercy of these people, the farther we will be able to venture, and the more will be given back to us.

Multiple studies were conducted to prove this. Zak’s research discovered the neurologic mechanisms that enable trust, and these mechanisms have actually been used both by world banks to stimulate prosperity in developing countries and by businesses to enhance economic performance.

Sadly, many people hoard their trust like doomsday preppers. They’re unwilling to risk making something they value vulnerable to another person’s actions.

Which isn’t their fault. It’s likely that their distrust was initially triggered by childhood experiences, traumatic or otherwise. After which they began a pattern of mistrusting for the rest of their lives.

But the irony is, even the most guarded of cynics still trusts people more than they realize.

Think about the most distrustful person you know. Somebody who wears their suspicion like a badge.

Have they ever ordered coffee, gone out to dinner, stayed in a hotel, taken a taxi, gone to the dentist, or flown in a plane?

They trust complete strangers every day. No matter how many trust issues they purport to have, at some level, they are willing to put themselves at the mercy of other people.

It may not be much, but it’s definitely a start. The fact that those interactions happened to them all means that trust is possible.

Mill’s words come to mind, who notably said that the advantage to mankind of being able to trust one another penetrates into every crevice and cranny of human life, and the economical is perhaps the smallest part of it, yet even this is incalculable. 

For all the ways in which the world today falls short of utopia, trust is usually worth the risk. 

Are you willing to discover what wonderful things happen when people get together and trust each other?


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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