A simple question on the face of it, in the dictionary definitions that follow I have deleted the entries about such things as fiduciary trusts on the basis that I am going to assume we are looking at trust between human beings (other sentient beings might be included) and not contract law, trust deeds and the like.
Definition of trust
1a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
b : one in which confidence is placed
2a : dependence on something future or contingent : hope
archaic : trustworthiness
Definition of trust.
1a : to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of : believe trust a rumour
b : to place confidence in : rely on a friend you can trust
c : to hope or expect confidently trusts that the problem will be resolved soon
2a : to commit or place in one’s care or keeping : entrust
b : to permit to stay or go or to do something without fear or misgiving
3 : to extend credit to
1a : to place confidence : depend trust in God, trust to luck
b : to be confident : hope
So immediately we can see that Trust and Trustworthiness is perceived as both a thing ( a fixed characteristic or an ideal?) and something that is an active practice in relation to others. Interestingly the Merriam Dictionary shows trustworthiness as an archaic word but if we watch the following video we can see that for many of us, trustworthiness forms the basis on which trust is built.
I was particularly interested in the idea that if we wish to be seen as trustworthy we need in some way to make ourselves vulnerable to the person/s whom we hope will place their trust in us as this would seem to suggest a transactional process with the possibility of personal loss if we break a trust placed in us.
This psychologist’s view on the way in which trust begins (often on a gut reaction basis) but then, if we are to maintain trust, develops into a requirement for empathy and sometimes forgiveness when trust is reduced or has been broken.
A philosophical approach to the nature of trust is summarised here, I personally found the constant change of camera angle really irritating and ended up wondering who he was talking to and why it was thought necessary to have chill-out music in the background. That said some good starting points are made and I’ve no rational reason to distrust the content.
So here we have some starting points for inquiry an into the nature of Trust that are based on the concepts of Trusting and Trustworthiness and usually in relation to the way we interact with others.
I would therefore like to request some personal introspection and ask you to consider what needs to be in place in a relationship before you can extend trust to another person, and further, if you consider trust to be broken is it ever repairable and what assurances would be needed before you could forgive the breach?
Lastly there is an aspect which I think it would be useful to consider which is encapsulated in the question “Do you always trust yourself?” or are there situations where you think it would be better if you weren’t placed in a particular position because you could easily not meet the expectations placed on you? Depending on your answer this would have a real bearing on your preparedness to forgive others for failing to meet your expectations.
In conclusion I will just add that I found this topic really challenging and have come to the conclusion that my trust of others remains mainly unconscious until something happens that provides evidence of untrustworthiness, so rationality doesn’t kick in until there’s a problem that needs attention.
John Mooney Late Submission (Trust Level 7 out of 10)