Friday, 12 July 2019

Pool of trust

Whenever I see someone operating a speed camera I thank them. It might seem odd since I was once caught doing 35 mph past a school, but ever since I've driven more carefully and changed down a gear in restricted zones.

It's important our driving is held to account, and all other actions for that matter. Why? If we keep our collective behaviour on the roads to a high standard, we'll be safer for it. Several local speed restrictions have been lowered to make just that point. It's like a pool of trust.

Imagine if a small minority get away with dangerous driving, it would allow normal behaviour to drop to a lower standard. It's as if the banks of the pool of trust have sprung a leak, and the overall level of trust is going down. On the other hand, if our standards are kept high then the level of trust rises and we're all safer.
A betrayal of individual trust in any sphere of life also reduces the value of trust for all of us. If I fiddle my tax return then everyone else has to pay a bit more to cover the shortfall. We rightly should challenge each others behaviour, not in a self-righteous way because we all make mistakes.

I've noticed local electronic road signs have sometimes been flagging up the message 'Take your litter home like everybody else'. It's a reminder that works because if someone tips stuff out of their car window as they drive along, the verges become polluted for everyone.

And of course this trust pool works at every level including our local and national government. Broken promises, false claims, and downright lies all drain trust from political life. Some of Jesus' strongest words were used against hypocrites. Careful decision, accountability, and clarity help build up trust.

You and I can make a huge difference through our actions, and the quality of our speech. We can increase the level of trust so everyone lives richer lives.

And finally, can you think of any part of normal life that could continue if there was no trust at all?