Thursday, October 23, 2014

Just How Important Is Trust?

Think about a society where there is little or no trust. You can't trust the food you eat at a restaurant. You can't trust the food you buy at the store. You can't trust the water you are drinking out of the faucet or in the water bottle. You can't trust the bank where you put your money. You can't trust the doctors or the nurses in the hospital. You can't trust the police officer you called when you dialed 911. You surely can't trust the news you are watching on television or the politicians in the government. You can't trust the teachers you just left your children with at school or the professors in college. You can't trust the pastors at your church. Think what our society would be like? Paranoia, fear, anger, distrust, survival of self and self alone. That would be a scary society to live in.

Like it or not, our society has been built on a certain level of trust. Each generation has to carry that trust forward to maintain that level of trust, but it appears from the statistics quoted below, that our societies' level of trust is falling among those who are or will become the leaders of the future.

Checkout these excerpts in italics from Tim Elmore's blog from Oct 22, 2014.

Trust is Dropping Among Students

"Jean Twenge, lead author of a study that was published last month in the online edition of the journal Psychological Science, says the current atmosphere — fed by the Great Recession, mass shootings, and everything from church sex abuse scandals and racial strife to the endless parade of publicly shamed politicians, athletes and celebrities — may help explain why this young generation’s trust levels hit an all-time low in 2012 (the most recent data available)."

"In the mid-1970s, when baby boomers were coming of age, about a third of high school seniors agreed that “most people can be trusted. That dropped to 18% in the early 1990s for Gen Xers — and then, in 2012, to just 16% of Millennials.
The researchers also found that Millennials’ approval of major institutions — from Congress and corporations to the news media and educational and religious institutions — dropped more sharply than other generations in the decade that followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001."

“Young people today feel disconnected and alienated,” says Twenge, a psychologist and professor at San Diego State University, who wrote a book on Millennials called Generation Me. She finds these outcomes “especially distressing” for a generation that had been expected to be more trusting of government.
For instance, in 2000-2002, 49% of 12th graders who were surveyed said Congress was doing a “good” or “very good” job, compared with just 22% who said the same in 2010-2012. 30% of young boomers were approving in the mid-1970s, and 33% of Gen Xers were approving in early 1990s. (The researchers benchmark these figures every three years to assure they‘re comparing consistent trends. The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percentage point.)

"What’s more, in 2000-2002, 54% of 12th graders approved of the job large corporations were doing. That fell to 33% by 2010-12. 40% of boomers approved in the mid-1970s, and 48% of Gen Xers approved in the early 1990s. During that decade, Millennials also had notable drops in approval of colleges and universities, the news media, public schools and religious institutions. Ugh. What have we done?"

The Pew Research Center, an American think tank organization, defined "adult Millennials" as those who are 18 to 33 years old, born 1981–1996

What are WE leaders, parents, teachers, pastors doing about the trust factor between us and our children, students and young adults?  Are we parents raising up children who can be trusted? Do they know how important integrity and character and trustworthiness is for their future?

We have responsibilities on both sides of this issue. We need to be trustworthy ourselves in order to teach our children, trustworthiness, who will then become leaders, parents who are trustworthy. Who will be the leaders of tomorrow? Will they be like those Moses chose to be leaders in Exodus 18?

Exodus 18:21
21 But you should select from all the people able men, God-fearing, trustworthy, and hating bribes.



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