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April 25, 2016

The Letter T

It is a shame we are nearing the end of the alphabet because I am starting to understand that when I feel inner resistance about a particular concept that I think might be something I should post about, it signifies something for me to look at more closely.

I’ve been tossing around thoughts about the letter T word and playing with the idea of writing about truth and trust. At first, truth was in the lead, but I am able to accept how totally subjective truth is and how each and every one of us has our own perception about what is true for us in any given moment…and I didn’t really want to write much about the overall individuality of it…

I toyed with connecting the idea of truth to Robin Williams’ work of utter genius in the title of one of his most beloved recordings “Reality: what a Concept,” and liken it to how individual truth is and how utterly subjective it is, but I shifted it all a bit and landed instead on TRUST.


When I looked the word up online, I found it interesting that I had to bypass the first few definitions because they focused on the legal type of trust as it relates to one person holding property, something material, in the name of another person. And that surprised me, because I wasn’t thinking about trust in that regard whatsoever. I was looking for the social content definition of the emotion of trust – when one person relies on another.

And once again, I was utterly amazed. Here are just a few of the interesting pieces of information I discovered in my brief research online regarding the construct of trust.

• The construct of trust is being altered by technology.

WHAT? Trust is an emotion…it is a social construct that exists in our humanity, some people may even argue that it is part of our natural disposition. It impacts our inter-relationship beliefs, skills and behaviors. But with all the information flooding us through the growing use (and abuse) of technology, it seems as if more and more of us are bringing the construct of competence into our conception of trust. An example of this would be when we read things on the web, rather than asking ourselves if we TRUST in the honesty of the information or the source, we question if the source is COMPETENT instead. While it is clear that it is easier to accept a lack of competence, the integrity of honesty and reliability are falling at the wayside. We are, through our daily habits and behaviors, able to actually witness a redefining of our construct of TRUST, changing before our very eyes.

• Trust cannot stand alone, independent, outside of the way we see others.

Our human condition finds us always on the edge between what we know to be ‘true’ based on our everyday life experience and possibility of what might happen or might be. It is a delicate place. Do we believe our eyes and what we already know to be true, or do we take a leap into the possibility posed by the not-yet-known?

• Neuropsychology has been able to isolate brain activities that lead to trust and trace the actual structure of the human brain to the exact spot of its ‘creation.’

Trust can be interfered with. There actually have been studies done with the application of drugs such as oxytocin that indicate trust can be altered. (Kosfeld, M., Heinrichs M., Zak, P. J., Fischbacher, U., and Fehr, E. (2005) Oxytocin increases trust in humans” Nature 435, 2005, 673-676.

If you ask almost every person who has ever been involved in an intimate relationship with another person, trust is paramount to the integrity of the relationship. Without it, intimacy is close to impossible.

I suppose what I am getting at, is that I want trust to keep the shape and form it has always held for me. I don’t want to alter it, even if it is for the sake of increasing it. I don’t want to redefine it or pollute or dilute what it represents, at least not in my own little corner of the world.

Children Trusting

I want trust to stay what it has always been:

• Extremely significant

• Hard to come by and doubly hard to retain

• Something earned and highly valued

• Able to produce a feeling of comfort and security deserved only by a selected few people out of the multitudes of people in my world.

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