Why do we try to be truthful?
In our society, we have built a construct of a culture based on mutual trust of one another. Trust that we won’t kill each other at random for the color of our skin, or the beliefs we hold. Trust that if come under hardship, the greater governing body will assist us in stabilizing. Trust that each citizen has trust in each other. If we have distrust, we become more defensive, emotional, and ultimately our society collapses.
What’s happened so far?
Throughout history, we have witnessed the collapse of many a civilization. Many cultures could not withstand the test of time. This is largely due to fear and greed, but ultimately due to a lack of interpersonal trust on a bigger scale. Let’s say John doesn’t think that his neighbor Sally would help him in case of an emergency. Well, John will try to become more self-reliant, more zoned in on his and only his environment and family. When this happens, that trust that held his greater tribe together starts crumbling faster and faster. Distrust evolves into fear, and fear translates into aggressiveness. We are all animalistic in nature. We cannot escape who we are, and by this, I mean that we are animals with instincts built into our DNA that has evolved over millennia to give us a better chance of surviving. These instincts are critical to our species’ survival. However, one of the main reasons we have grown in size so fast and revolutionized technology is because we chose to settle and form villages and cities together, usually by a body of water. This has allowed us to hand off some of the responsibility of survival onto our peers. Here in lies why trust is the fabric that allows our networks of people to sustain and prosper. We have found that we live longer and birth more babies if we group together for security. If you don’t trust that security will be there when you need it, there thus effectively no security.
How do our emotions affect trust?
“Emotions are short-lived psychological-physiological phenomena that represent efficient modes of adaptation to changing environmental demands.”
- Levenson, 1994 p. 123
Emotions are characterized as having more flexible interpretations and responses rather than reflexes which are acted upon from immediate stimuli (Scherer, 1984). Emotions can serve as a reference point to our individual psychological well being to our environment. While there are a few different ideas pertaining to emotion theory, I will be focusing on the functional aspects of emotion. Emotion is constructed according to social structural, and moral-ideological forces that define culture and the historical social context (Gordon, 1989; Lutz & Abu-Lughod, 1990; Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Rosaldo, 1984; Stearns, 1993). The survival value in emotions stems from forming attachments, maintaining cooperative relations, or avoiding physical threats which increase in entropy with larger societies. They help us reprioritize and develop more specific judgments based on the current situation. Much of procreating is based off on your emotions telling you whether or not you should trust your potential partner and their genes. So with trust being affected by emotion and emotions playing a critical piece in survival and procreation, without trust in others, we survive less and procreate less. This starts the countdown to the end of a society.
How does this affect us today?
In today’s society, we face great moral issues and cultural divisions. Many of us in America believe in America as an idea more so than a country. We have put trust in our government bodies to oversee the country’s vast array of problems and they are delegated upon to take on the responsibilities we face today. We see a falling level of trust in our democracy, and this serves as a point in history that will be defined for decades to come for its cultural shift, and moral reprioritization. Much of the world has gotten better, but we face a lack of trust in one another today, but if we focus on trusting ourselves to trust our neighbors first, then we can begin to see progress in the right direction. World Power Designs seeks to show that we have the power within each and every one of ourselves to make an impact on our society if we first start with ourselves. Look in the mirror and trust yourself. Trust yourself and you’ll know how to trust others that deserve it. If we all can develop our integrity and work together, we can accomplish great things. With that said, always continue to think differently.