Trust – Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something, at least according to the dictionary. As humans, we learned in childhood be leery of strangers and things that require us to surrender our money. In 2020 I think the issues run much deeper than the afore mentioned. I cannot speak for other countries but the United States citizens of 2020 face mounting trust issues. I want to address a small segment of those issues.
The United States Government has taken a hit in credibility since the 1970’s. The approval rate for Congress shifts between 18 and 21 percent depending on the poll you are viewing. That means 8 out of 10 Americans disapprove of the job being done by its government. Do we, as a people believe the government has our best interest in mind? This type of question usually sparks a partisan argument, which leaves the problem unresolved. Do we trust our government? The numbers from the polls do not lie.
Does the media actually present the news in an unbiased fashion? Gallop presented statistics for media trust, the simple results showed 72 percent in 1977, but that number dropped below 41% in 2019. I have a suspicion the only reason it is as high as 41% is the (Entertainment) News agencies have their loyal partisan followings, remove that away and you have real trouble seeing how the big News agencies plan to survive in the future. Most of us get our news from Facebook, Twitter, and various blog feeds. There are thousands of opinion writers online, take for example my blog. We hope people will be responsible with presenting the truth, but there is no guarantee. The modus operandi today is vet the truth after the story breaks and then issue partial apologies, if any at all.
The Church has taken a hit in credibility. Only 42% of Millennials attend church at all, that is 4 out of 10 millennials. Church corruption, priests abusing young children sexually and the church’s response is at times, “no comment”. An organization that has at its core principles promote faith and hope, might have lost its way in 2020.
Is all hope lost in 2020? Can we ever return to a time when people had a basic trust in each other and the systems that we use in society? Maybe, the verdict is one that is more complicated than a group of positive thinkers having another retreat. These symptoms might deal with something as simple as being self-centered. I know this sounds elementary in concept but I believe the impact of self-centeredness has far reaching effects. When you think the only opinion that matters is your own, you have many problems. Grass root movements have powerful impacts. A group of people start doing the changes they want to see, and it spreads, if the idea is something people desire. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed. Sometimes we feel there is nothing a single person can do to introduce change. Change will happen, maybe not at the speed of the internet, or societies pace, the best things in life will take time. Don’t let your voice and actions drown out the message you want the world to hear. I will leave you with a quote from Fredrick Douglass: “Without a struggle, there can be no progress”.