I've been thinking a lot about trust lately.
Americans are in a trust crisis. We've lost trust in our institutions: government, law enforcement, the media, the scientific community, the medical community, the academic community, the religious community, the intelligence gathering community, the military, the athletic community, the entertainment community, even within families. Building trust is hard. Rebuilding it once it's been broken is almost impossible.
But is that all bad?
My life is absolutely fantastic in 2021 compared to five years ago. So good that I haven't felt this pandemic much. Hitting rock bottom a few years ago was a gift in disguise. I armored up. I recalibrated my expectations. I refocused my wants. I learned to see pain as a teacher instead of something to be avoided or medicated. I learned who my friends were. I learned who I could trust.
I happen to believe most Americans walk around with an entirely inflated and misguided notion as to who they can trust. However small the list is in your head...the reality is probably smaller. This can cause big problems. I know for an absolute fact that millions on the left and right still trust their "trusted news source" entirely too much, giving them hyper-biased talking points to use as bullets on social media and in family conversations.
One of the benefits in disguise of the events of the past year is that people, if they decide to, can gain a more accurate understanding of who they can actually trust. And maybe that enhanced understanding will help them to make more informed decisions and to recalibrate their expectations of these institutions to more realistic proportions. Maybe it will cause them to listen to different points of view and then triangulate the truth.
I want to live in truth, even if it's painful and hard to find. If you're a person who believes in God as I do, you have a great advantage. You have someone you can trust. I'm working on trusting God more than myself. Yes, it's possible. I've done it a few times and it works. I want to do it more and more.
If you had to boil this little chat down to a meme, it might go something like this:
Love everyone. Trust God (and possibly your mom).