They Who Do Not Trust Enough, Shall Not Be Trusted

Created June 18, 2021

Trust levels have been going down for a long time. Distrust in the US government began dropping in 1958 and as we all know, today roughly one in six Americans (half to two thirds of Republicans, essentially) don’t trust the 2020 election.

It’s not just the government. People don’t trust the media, advertising, corporations in general, other people in general, they don’t trust themselves, the Universe or God.

It’s not 100%. There are probably over two billion people on the planet today who are still generally trusting. Unfortunately, most of them are probably little children.

In 1971, the first edition of Handbook of Children and The Media by Dorothy and Jerome Singer told the world that heavy viewers of television news are more likely to distrust the next stranger they met. In today’s agitprop circus of openly biased “news” channels and foulmouthed, vicious, people-cancelling social media, the distrust creation by media has gone way through the roof.

The original quote was “He who does not trust enough, shall not be trusted.” “They” has recently become used in the LBGTQIA+ community to replace “he” and “she”. The quote comes from Lao Tzu’s great work the Tao Te Ching, which also says:

If you open yourself to the Tao,
the Tao will eagerly welcome you.
If you open yourself to virtue,
virtue will become a part of you.
If you open yourself to loss,
the lost are glad to see you.

“When you do not trust people,
people will become untrustworthy.”

Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu Chapter 23, translated by JH McDonald

All religions at their core contain the notion that one must be open and trusting. Islam for example is centered around the idea of surrendering to God, trusting and having faith that God will take care of you. Hillel’s and Jesus’s Golden Rule includes trust among other ways you wish to be treated by others, therefore you must start by trusting them. Hinduism and Buddhism at their deepest levels teach that that next stranger you meet is you.

However, religion is another thing that most people don’t trust any more.

Even science is not trusted by an enormous minority!

Now that we have slid this far down the rabbit hole we don’t even trust that there is only one reality that exists, and partisan groups (and every user of the Internet) are allowed to make up their own realities.

Trust and fear are related. The more we fear, the less we trust. If we are rooted in a confidence that there is a benevolence behind the universe, fear drops away, and trust becomes possible; this is the state of mind in which one is open to receiving guidance from above, and Flow state occurs freely.

Very few of us are in that small group of which I am a member.

The advice I give in connection with trust is to have fearless respect for everyone. Respect and Kindness is the mode that elicits trust and cooperation toward common goals. In today’s environment that mode requires fearlessness, fatalistic acceptance of whatever may come from right action.

What if we can’t break out of our current mass headspace? It doesn’t look so promising for the good guys (“guys” used to cover all infinite variations of gender and sexual orientation).

Let’s face it, Trump has a lot to do with where we are on the planet right now. He may turn out to be one individual who has had almost as much effect on history as Jesus, but in the opposite direction. Nevertheless, for a group of professional politicians and like-minded behind the scenes power brokers, Trump is an addictive drug they cannot give up for fear that they will lose power.

It would be far better if the junkie could gather the self-discipline required to give up the drug, but we still don’t know how to get most junkies to do that.

If the half of the registered Republicans in the US who still lean that way do not come out of the coma and agree to trust the US government and its elections, there is no reason to believe that the rest of the world will trust the USA the way it did, ever again. People have long memories, and scars go deeper than the eye can see. The sooner we pull ourselves up out of the muck the quicker we will recover the trust of the world.

Nor would running Trump again work to make the minority party what it used to be (it can only rise again through positive creativity). Most of the population doesn’t want that and they are not just going to lay down and allow a coup d’etat by 23 coercive State governments that are supposed to be representing their populations. The first thing that will happen if the restrictive voting laws are passed in those States is that Freedom Busses will be used, with Federal Marshalls, to bring minorities to the voting places and protect them from intimidation and make sure they can vote. There is no way that the chanters of the mantra “Stop The Steal” can pull off their own steal.

It’s reasonable for those whose power is slipping away to fear disempowerment. But the way to solve that is not authoritarian, dictatorial rule by force, or creation of domestic violent terrorist groups, where the many are ruled by the few – that is pushing the history clock too far back and will not be accepted. If we continue to go that way, we will have revolutions and a return to feudalism.

The thing we need the most today is clarity of thinking and feeling. We can’t go on living in dream worlds. We need each other. If we can cooperate in the spirit of rules-based international cooperation we will create something pretty close to utopia in our lifetimes.

Who cares if China gets to have the largest economy if our people are happier and more creative? What are the real values? Bragging rights for size of economy, or quality of life? Besides, if we bring back manufacturing and increase R&D, we can probably maintain all the economic leverage we will ever need.

Clarity. Note that many billionaires who have pledged to give away at least half their wealth want to give it apparently to anyone except the US government. Where’s the clarity in that?

United we stand, divided we fall.

May the Center Hold.

Bless you all,

Bill

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