Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday September 22, 2007.....Whatever happened to the trust?

We have become a litiginous world. We can't seem to trust each other any more. We don't trust our leaders to watch out for us. We don't trust the news to give us the truth. We don't trust our bosses to care about us. We don't trust any stranger we meet - he might be out to gain what we have. We lock our doors and we put up protective barriers to keep others out. We guard our homes and our computers and we don't trust anyone anymore.

When I started in the construction business, it was a world of trust built up over the years. A man was as good as his word and if you couldn't trust him, you didn't deal with him. A handshake or a one page contract was enough to start building a large construction project. That's all changed now. Contracts are like books and you have to read each word carefully so that the other party won't cheat you out of something you weren't aware of. You don't trust anyone's word, only the signed document with copies for each of you that can be taken to court. You become suspicious of any offer by someone you don't know - what are they trying to do to you? Trust no longer exists. You can't leave your car unlocked. You can't leave your home unlocked. You can't leave your camping possessions out where they can be stolen. You can't leave your bicycle out without a bike chain. You have to take steps to protect your identity so that it can't be stolen and used against you.

What happened to us? What caused us to become so wary and untrusting? What happened to civility and integrity? We have lost so much and the world has become a meaner place. It was a kinder, simpler place with a bit of built in safety and we all tried to look out for each other. We all knew we were in the same boat and needed that trust and safety. Now it's every man for himself and get yours while you can. It's ugly out there.

Once you lose trust, it takes a long time to get it back. It will take many years for society to rebuild a world of trust. It has to start somewhere with someone. Who will be the first sucker?

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