Trust, respect, and confidence. Three character attributes to which I and others should aspire to earn. To earn these requires time. However, when we have demonstrated ourselves to be worthy of earning each of these attributes through our consistent principled lifestyle, the trust is likely to be long lasting.
Similarly, albeit short lived, trust and respect can be positional. That is, others can trust and respect you simply because a position, by protocol, includes these attributes. Examples include teachers, the Office of the President, coaches, parents, etc. The major difference between earned and positional trust and respect is the scope, depth, and duration of the trust and respect. When earned, trust and respect can be deep and lasting. However, the same is not necessarily true in regard to position. The accompanying trust and respect might only be superficial and short-lived.
Can the person in a position violate the trust that accompanies the positional trust? Certainly. That happened very recently in our community. Were there indicators of misplaced trust such that the violation could have been prevented if a meaningful trust and respect were earned? It is too early to know at this point in the investigation. However, I believe the possibility exists. While I will not make a conscious attempt to influence the court of public opinion, I do want to make an appeal for more meaningful relationships with each other.
Do you have a sense/unity of community in which you live? While we do in some circles, I am not convinced we have a genuine, comprehensive unity of community throughout. That requires time and a very specific intention to achieve that end. Developing a meaningful sense of community means we are communicating in a way that connects.
Said another way, we can talk without necessarily communicating. Further, we can communicate without connecting. It is when we connect with each other that the most meaningful communication occurs. Being able to freely connect with another person requires a total respect along with the confidence that whatever I divulge from vulnerability will not be held against me such that I become a topic/target of gossip where impugning my character could occur.
Connecting occurs when we earn the trust and respect of others that we are willing to be vulnerable with each other. We all have weaknesses and limitations. While acknowledging those, no one wants for someone else to exploit that areas in an attempt to denigrate me to gain favor or position over me. Genuine fellowship, sharing of ideas, and meaningful dialogue accompanies connected relationships.
As with many of us, we are increasingly reliant on technology to communicate. While the technology can be good, we are increasingly becoming faceless and voiceless through this means of communication. That frequently manifests itself in having superficial relationships such as “friends” with whom we have never met. While I avidly support multiple methods of communication, my appeal is to develop genuine relationships through trusted communication. That takes time and a willingness to be vulnerable to let others know who we really are. We need to look introspectively to determine if we are willing to be vulnerable enough to “expose” our inner feelings to others. This includes a very comfortable self-awareness and self-image to be comfortable knowing exactly who we are. This is an area of more in-depth discussion for another time.
We have insidiously gotten to the current state of relationships over a period of decades. Therefore, restoring/establishing a sense of community will take possibly an equal amount of time. It will require a change in mindset. Doing that will require of us to be intentional to make this sort of change. Is it worth the effort? I think it is.
Let’s work together toward what I believe is the greater good of our community — having a genuine sense of community through meaningful trust, respect, and confidence in each other. This will require a total community effort. However, it can start with just one person. Let’s go and grow together.
What do you think? Does your community have the unity of community? If not, what do you recommend doing to help achieve that end goal? If you do, let us know what you have and how you achieved that.
Let’s dialogue on this very important topic. I am very interested in knowing what you think on this topic. Talk with me and let me know if you believe we can start a movement that will have lasting, positive impacts.
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