It's a Matter of Trust

As Billy Joel wrote, “…you're going to face a moment of truth, it’s hard when you're always afraid, you just recover when another belief is betrayed…it’s a matter of trust”.

Our world is currently full of dichotomies: love and fear, rich and poor, healthy and ill, young and old, generosity and greed, trust and mistrust.

In April this year research from The Australia Institute’s International & Security Affairs Program was released. Government was touted as the most trusted source of information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the most trusted institution to lead us out of economic crisis. We saw unity and a bipartisan approach. The situation we found ourselves thrust into was beyond political division.

Fast forward to September and the longer the pandemic continues, the more unease there is. The harder the decisions that have been made, the more we potentially doubt those decisions. Throw in a few conspiracy theories to fuel the fire of fear, and trouble can reach boiling point.

Is trust something we earn? Or is it given until snatched away by a deed we recognise as having mal intent? Throughout the pandemic people have been trusted to work from home and leaders have been trusted to make the right decisions - or at least the most informed decisions.

Lack of trust is a barrier to success. Yet what investment do we make in building that trust? The best way to build trust is to walk your talk. To display the same regard for decisions that you expect others to display. Without trust the result is fear, insecurity and uncertainty. A few leaders, those who hold positions of power, have been remiss in this regard. Many however have not.

Our trust in government and leaders’ decisions in managing this global pandemic is crucial. Where there is lack of trust, there can be a recalcitrant reaction to policies and decisions.

Trust begins with each of us, in our homes, our communities, our workplaces. To trust in the greater good, we need to have trust in ourselves. If we are going to break the rules we set for ourselves, how can we expect others to behave differently?

Trust begets transparency. Transparency begets cooperation. Cooperation begets unity. Unity begets progress. Progress begets hope. Hope begets the future. And surely that’s worthy of our investment.