Whether it be romantic, platonic, personal or professional, I can’t think of any relationship that won’t fall apart if trust is lacking or broken.
It seems like a no-brainer. Unless you and I are the last people on Earth and you have exhausted all other avenues, why would you come to me for anything if you didn’t trust me?
I would be the last resort.
Trust is a must. And yet, instead of building it, we have hidden agendas, lie, cheat, steal as a society.
Mistrust has never been so prevalent, in my opinion.
In the olden days
Truth be told, I understand the appeal of not being transparent.
Knowledge is power. You hoard the knowledge, you hoard the power.
Since time immemorial, that’s how men have dominated other men.
That’s how explorers like Columbus got away with trading cheap trinkets for precious metals and other resources when they landed on exotic shores.
New world, old tricks
Since the Internet age, knowledge is no longer only accessible to the privileged. But unfortunately, the old tricks of yester year are still alive and kicking.
As long as power and control are up for grabs, there will be people who will do anything to have more than their fair share.
Trust will be harder and harder to come by.
Opinions will be presented as facts, biases will be amplified. From half-truths to outright lies, every tool will be used in an effort to construct narratives that will advance the least scrupulous among us.
I can’t remember the world being so divided. In my youth, religion and politics were pretty much the only divisive subjects.
Nowadays, the list gets longer and longer, confusion is the word of the day.
I would argue that the way to rebuild trust is simple however. One word: integrity.
Acting with integrity makes being transparent and honest easy.
It creates a safe and healthy environment. We mean what we say, say what we mean, everyone knows where they stand.
If all businesses were acting with integrity, practices like greenwashing would not exist.
The fear of an unethical practice coming to light and hurting the brand would not be a thing.
In the political arena, not a week passes by without some sort of scandal calling into question the integrity of political leaders.
I grew up hearing that politicians are the servants of the people but the mere existence of lobbyists, spin doctors, and all manner of enablers prove to me that we have a systemic problem on our hands.
The crypto world is also not an exception. The lack of transparency (and regulation) in the industry has allowed a number of “rug pulls” or “pump and dump” schemes.
This is a new industry, promising to level the playing field for the common man, financially. But instead of making good on that promise, this is another case of more of the same, contributing to exacerbating even more mistrust.
Even the scientific world??
I can’t leave this one out.
Big Pharma .
You needn’t work in the pharmaceutical industry to know that it’s supposed to be grounded in science.
Lives are at stake so you would expect that the greatest care is given to follow the science, wherever it leads.
But studies are coming out calling into question what we thought were self-evident truths regarding the pandemic. I touched on this before. However, instead of halting, course-correcting in the light of the evidence, all I see is a frightening determination to ignore it, squash it, censor it.
This needs a post on its own but I have come to believe that Big Pharma isn’t really in the business of making us healthy.
Integrity is important for everyone, in business or not.
It’s not just a moral debate devoid of consequences. The current state of affairs is a perfect recipe for loss of trust among each other, employees, employers, shareholders, stakeholders. Loss of trust can ultimately lead to going bust.
But more importantly, in a world where deception is the norm, the trustworthy end up being tarnished with the same brush.
This means that through no fault of their own, from the get go they are presumed guilty until proven innocent.
In today’s global village, its even more important to safeguard our relationships. We are all connected. Abuses will be felt globally.
Sacrificing long term benefits on the altar of short term wins will bite back.
But even if it doesn’t, resorting to trickery only helps the cynicism that is going rampant.
Counteract with transparency.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone is entitled to know everything, but an effort has to be made to work on changing behaviour rather than just perception.
It’s in fact much easier than lying and having to keep track of the lies to try and maintain the illusion of truth. Fewer and fewer people buy it.
Will this stop the madness? I’m not exactly optimistic. People will do more of what they can get away with.
As for me, I will stick to my ethics as best I can.
I’ll conclude with a quote:
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.Mark Twain
Reflect, Redefine, Rise!