03/18/2015 04:18 pm ET Updated May 18, 2015

It Is a Matter of Trust

Change your opinions, keep your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.

-- Victor Hugo (French Poet 1802-1885)

Whenever we read or hear something about trust, how it was given or taken, we think of our own way of experiencing it. We trust loved ones, we trust our family and our friends. Or we trust colleagues. Do we trust our bankers or the politicians we help elect? These last years have eroded that feeling of trust. The erosion of the value system has increased the distrust in the sense of direction; trust has imploded. It is like bruising the wings of a butterfly, or the blossom of a flower; it cannot be repaired. The fundamental problem is that large numbers of family bonds have been broken. The feeling of community has been abandoned. We live in a time of doubt in leadership, either in our personal life or on the broader stage of the country or the world. We read much about corruption and collusion. We know of the lies or hidden agenda immediately, or if we don't once, we find out it is most destructive. This constant change forces us to regroup and rethink our own life's direction and our values.

Maybe we need to test our own believes and search for answers within ourselves. We live in a society where we can influence the state of affairs. We are not helpless! It takes courage to speak up; the brutality of our surroundings influences us, yet we have the power to change our own thinking. Even when we observe that all politeness and kindness has been swept away, adding meaningfulness to our lives still has value. It is an internal debate, and does not take elaborate preparations to be successful. It takes time and self-awareness. We fight for many things -- let us also fight for our core values.

Elaine Papas writes about this subject:

I have learned in my experience as a lawyer, psychologist, business professional, and as a friend/family member/spouse, trust is one of the most valuable foundations and fragile components of a relationship. Trust can only be built over time but can be extinguished in an instant and rarely recoverable. All of us have experienced the profound hurt and disappointment when someone we trusted has betrayed that trust. Not only does it affect that relationship, but with each broken trust, we put another brick in our wall of protection, shutting out close, intimate future relationships. The result is a growing feeling of aloneness.

However, I don't agree with allowing that approach. I accept that I am a trusting person who will, within reason, give a person the 'benefit of the doubt' until proven otherwise. When trust is broken, early on or later, yes there are the bad feelings, but I see it as the cost of being who I am and what I believe in. If I don't give the next person an open heart and mind, I may lose the opportunity of making or winning a great friend or business associate.

Building a relationship beyond the worry of a broken trust is very difficult to accomplish. We have no control over the inside thoughts of the other, we can only guess and hope not to fall prey to the same mistake again and again. To keep trust can fulfill and enrich our lives.

We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.

-- Carl Jung (Swiss Psychotherapist 1875-1961)