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Building Trust

Our communities are going through tremendous changes. People on both sides are pointing fingers and assigning blames, forgetting just months ago they were friends, neighbours, families, fellow citizens. Time to take a hot air balloon ride and get a view from above.

I belong to a local dads’ group. On weekends we get together for pancakes with our kids. One day a new comer came in. The dads welcomed him to the group. After pancakes he sat in a sofa to read to his girl. An incredible thing followed. ALL of the kids climbed onto the sofa to listen to his story. They don’t even know his name.

We’ve all been taught that trust is something you build over time. Once you lose trust it is almost impossible to get it back. I challenge this Christian-Anglo-centric notion. In aboriginal Australian cultures a wrong-doer is punished for his/her crime and then he/she is welcomed back into the community without grudges. This way no one has to carry the trauma, not the individual, nor the community. In Chinese culture we laugh at the man who is afraid of a piece of rope because of a ten year old snake bite.

Now imagine you are a healthy four year old. A stranger just walked into your world and is reading a storybook aloud. Do you think twice about cuddling up to him and enjoy the story? Of course not. You are surrounded with love, security and warmth. Why would you not let your curiosity and sense of adventure take you to your new friend? The only thing stopping you is fear and mistrust.

Over the last two years we’ve been told that we cannot trust anything. We can’t trust sick people. We can’t trust healthy people. We can’t trust people to put on masks, to self isolate. We can’t trust doctors and nurses who are not vaccinated. We can’t trust ones who are. We can’t trust the mass media. We can trust social media even less. We can’t trust people waving Nazi flags. We can trust people waving Canadian flags even less. We can’t trust cowboy hats. We can’t trust police uniforms. Governments, healthcare system, money in your bank, property rights, charter of rights, freedom of speech, surely we can trust those right? NOPE!!!

As it happened, before we arrived at our last Dads’ Group Meeting my daughter and I walked past a homeless man on the street. I said hello and was hoping to get past him as quickly as possible. M on the other hand started a whole conversation with him. She asked him where he was going; why was he going there; and why doesn’t he drive there? Before the conversation got awkward I hurried her along and wished the man a great day. I am extremely proud and blessed to have a daughter who can extend her trust to almost anyone and be non-judgemental. It is one of the clearest signs that a child is thriving rather than surviving.

Two years ago my sister was giving me sh*t for not getting vaccinated. After three jabs and getting over Omicron she finally said it is just like a mild flu and the governments and the media are making a big deal out of it. Hopefully now she understands why her brother refuses to give in to fear. That being said I totally respect her choice. She had to do what’s best for her family with the information given.

I still don’t trust the government and their ability to stay pure against corporate influences. I still don’t trust our health officers for making the best long-term decisions for our children based on limited data. But I would like to trust my neighbours, friends and family again. Like a toddler, I want to walk up to you and say Hi, How are you doing? I am happy to see your smile again and I hope you have a great day.


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