Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Trust works better both ways

Many years ago, I entered into a situation in which someone wanted to have proof from me that I can be trusted. Reluctantly, I agreed to that demand. After some reflection on its underlying distrust, I decided to ask for similar proof from that person. That person disagreed. Things quickly escalated and ended badly. In my view, trust works better both ways.

Usually, we navigate through life based upon blind trust. Essentially, we believe what we are told. In rare cases, we want to see proof. Last year, I entered into such a situation. The inherent risk associated to the information that I received was too high. My distrust took over and I demanded proof. My risk analysis proved to be valid, to the dismay of the person giving that proof.

Several decades ago, I visited my audit team and took a first look at the financial statements. My disbelief immediately took over. My team assured me nothing was wrong. I decided to trust my gut feeling. Ultimately, I refused to sign off on the audit files. Several months later, the audit partner informed me that local management had been fired for falsifying the financial statements.

There’s a strange risk-reward balance (my blogs) in blind trust: there is no upside potential and a lot of downside risk. Hence, the inherent risk of (blind) trust is huge. Nevertheless, blind trust is our default way of living. Consequently, (blind) trust must be fundamental between humans. Indeed it is, according to Wikipedia:

“Trust exists in interpersonal relationships. Humans have a natural disposition to trust and to judge trustworthiness. This can be traced to the neurobiological structure and activity of a human brain.” Note: bold marking in quote by LO.

Given the above, it should not come as a surprise that betrayal of trust is often regarded as the most hurtful feeling of all (eg, Quora, Psychology Today). 

The degree – or severity – of the betrayal of trust is based on how close the other person is/was to you. My daughter views the divorce of her parents as a betrayal of trust, and in particular by her father (ie, me). It’s her perspective on what took place; not mine. Ultimately, my self-preservation was more fundamental to me than continuing my loyalty to my children.

Teach Your Children (1970) by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Teach your children well 
Your father’s hell did slowly go by

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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