The Bond of Relationship
Living as we do in community, trust is of the very essence of our relationship. It is the fabric of which harmony is made. Human encounter begins with trust and is sustained by trust. Trust is, as it were, the fuel which keeps it going. This is so for every facet of human life.
It would appear that trust is greater than man. It is something which precedes the creation of man. It is not something that we make. Rather, it is something into which we enter. If it is damaged or destroyed it affects the whole gamut of human relationships.
Without trust, life would not be worth living. Existence would undoubtedly have no meaning. The very life-blood of our being would disappear. We are made for one another, and when we reach the state that we cannot trust each other, we are, so to speak, at sea in a raft with no oars, no motor. Trust is a sacred thing. It must be respected, exalted and promoted.
It is particularly in family life that the dynamism of trust should be most evident. Man and woman come together in trust that they can place their lives in the hands of each other. They can expose themselves to the reality of a covenant relationship. In one sense, they lose their individuality to obtain a new identity. And in this there is great gain; there is great promise. Humanity itself is based on this mutual trust.
Young people's lives can be psychologically damaged or even destroyed by the experience of a lack of trust in the family. Their hopes can be completely dashed. Life can cease to have any meaning for them.
Sometime ago, in the U.S.A., a young lady, sixteen years old, suddenly returned home from school only to find that an unknown man was with her mother while her husband was at work. She reported the incident to her father. He told her that he knew about that adulterous relationship and that he too had a similar relationship with a woman.
The young lady was so disgusted that she left home never to return. She was totally disappointed that the moral expectations of her parents were frustrated. Her trust in her parents was completely shattered.
People form associations only if they trust each other. They bravely take the risk of being hurt and wounded. Deep within them they know that life was made for corporate and community development. No man can ever stand alone. He is born with an innate dependence on others.
Trust places us inevitably in a situation of thinking foremost of the good of others. True, no man willingly sacrifices his own good solely to promote the good of others. He reaches out to others for his own fulfillment. But it would seem that trust is a quality instilled in us that often leads us to deny ourselves and reach out to others. It is an acknowledgement of their dignity. We trust them to be worthy of this kind of self-sacrifice.
As we proceed with the development of our country, our focus should be on trust in our country, trust in our institutions, trust in our people. Trust should be envisaged as the pivot of society. Particularly, there should be focus on trust in Government.
One writer, Henry Clay, tells us, Government is a trust, and the officers of the Government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.
All those who are entrusted with governance, and those who aspire to exercise governance, should reflect very deeply on the above statement. Deep within everyone of us lies the tendency to use even sacred things for our own purposes. Sacred trust can be desecrated. It can be done in many ways. Let us beware.
One of the great Prime Ministers in British history, Benjamin Disraeli, has bequeathed to us this inspiring statement: All power is a trust; we are accountable for its exercise; from the people and for the people, all springs, all must exist.
Trust imposes on us a sacred responsibility. It leads us to seek to earn the trust of our fellow-men. It drives us on to work to validate that trust. Trust does not come easily. It can be gained. It can also be destroyed. People can be led to work to build their community, their country, only if they can trust their fellow workers. Leaders of a country must endeavour to inspire trust. Accountability and justice are hallmarks of that sacred trust. They are the standard-bearers of a vibrant nation. The road ahead may be difficult but with trust great things can be achieved.