the issue of trust - nov 5th, 2011
Most of us have, at some time or another, had to deal with the betrayal of trust on a personal relationship level. We’ve learned that the common analogy of the broken vase rings all too true – even if it is repaired, it will never be the same. It is colored by a loss of innocence. Nietzsche succinctly summed it up like this: “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
Psychologists recommend against lashing out against untrustworthy behavior, advising instead to focus on feelings: sadness, hurt, anger, fear, numbness, insecurity. These feelings do not go away, but expressing them can lead to a shared understanding. That is if the perpetrator cares and is trying to regain your trust.
There has been a massive shattering of our capacity as American citizens to trust our elite financial institutions, and more importantly, our government and politicians and their ability to govern and regulate these institutions.
The problem is there doesn’t seem to be any concern from any of them – other than spin and blustery rhetoric – to change what is happening. In point of fact, the unequal taxation, egregious bonus structures, and questionable financial maneuvering have all continued pretty much unabated.
Right now, our best option is to openly and loudly remind them how we feel, staying focused and educated and unified in our desire to be treated fairly and not taken advantage of. We must do everything we can to continue to build consensus, all the while remaining adamant that we will no longer stand for this status quo – it must be changed. This is our country after all. Show appreciation to those who put their lives on hold to take to the streets in our behalf. Ignore the media trying to stir up backlash against OWS demonstrations.
It would be nice to not have to be so vigilant, to be able to trust that our elected officials and public institutions would behave in an ethical and principled manner. But that, unfortunately, is not how it is.