Rebuilding trust

Claude Money bridge painting; Source: Google Search

The grand project of our generation seems to be, to rebuild trust.

With late capitalism, extreme nationalism and fake news, we are plunged into a darkness. We don’t know what to believe or whom to trust anymore.

Truth is too complex to fully grasp. Judgements and acts run over 100s of pages. News channels choose to spin it on their own ways.

And most of those who seem to be so certain seem to be coming from many other unexpressed feelings and reasons, rather than the cause at hand.

All this is eroding the soil of our society, its social fabric. Which is trust.

I need to trust that my government will take my tax money and use it for the better. Decades of not doing that shows up as traffic jams and pollution every day for me. It shows up as indifferent government officials who are either underpaid or corrupt or both.

I need to trust that corporations care for both me and the society. But they don’t. Not really. Till it is profitable to do so. (And that’s totally okay). But, they externalise costs. Their customer service sucks. And, they seem to be after monetising my most human instincts.

In families and social circles too, I find most of us very guarded when the groups have diverse political ideologies. I find us gravitating more and more to echo chambers where we can feel safe and not challenged.

Lack of trust is bad for economics, for civic action, for human relationships in general. When human trust erodes, governments and corporations step in. They do it for us. And in doing that, they keep getting stronger.

Communities keep breaking.

It is time to restore community. To restore our relationships. It is time to revisit our promise to be one India, to embrace our shared destiny.

Because trust is the only way out of this darkness. No one person can comprehensively grasp truth. No one group can claim they understand what is really going on.

And the start of trust doesn’t begin with trusting. It begins with being trustworthy.

May I trust you please?

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