Women are quick to place their trust in others as they are generally driven by emotions and sentiments. Trust is to have confidence or faith in something or somebody. It also implies that this faith is vested without fear and the intuition that the person in whom you have trust will behave in a way beneficial to yourself. Trust depends on relationships between people and social groups. In fact humans have a natural disposition to trust that can be traced to the neurobiological structure and activity of the human brain. This trust can be altered chemically!
My friend Sharada Rajamani says that we have to have trust in four people: a jeweller, a tailor, a doctor and your husband. This trust is based on the belief in the honesty, fairness, competence and benevolence of the other party. Recent research says that a failure in trust may be forgiven if it is a failure of competence rather than a lack of generosity or honesty.
Trust in the jeweller and tailor has many features in common. You trust a jeweller when he says that the diamonds or stones are genuine, the amount of gold is exact and the jewellery you have invested in will stand wear and tear. You trust the tailor when he says he needs this much yardage of material to stitch your garment, that you have put on weight or lost it, that he has shrunk the cloth and it will not become tighter after a wash. Above all in both cases you trust that they will keep to the deadline that you allot them and the goods will be delivered on time. This trust is often eroded as for both these professions ‘tomorrow’ is the promise that can be stretched indefinitely.
A doctor is an important person who is there from birth to death. The individual may change but the persona stays in your life and is an important part of your well being. When you are born the doctors may certify you as a perfect specimen of human kind. As you develop, the doc is in charge of giving you your protective armour against diseases, for keeping track of your milestones of growth, providing remedies and treatments for small and big problems that may arise as you grow older. Their trust in technology and medicines is passed on to you implicitly and both believe the readings, diagnosis, interpretations of tests and experience has a bearing on the prescribed treatment and prognosis. The doctors also trust that you will faithfully follow their prescribed treatment. This trust for longevity by both is linked to faith and prayer.
A husband is someone in whom you vest a lot of trust. It begins with their longevity, financial potentialities, practical and emotional capabilities and above all fidelity. This trust is easily eroded or reinforced with time and experience. This trust is always fragile and can break up with various crisis, temptations and change of circumstances. Many women continue to live in a relationship even after their trust has been breached because of children, dependence or lack of will to initiate change. Fear is an overriding emotion linked to this trust.
Women are also prone to place their trust in Gurus, miracle-workers, magicians and fortune tellers. These people provide an escape, maybe even answers to the everyday problems and issues that they face from family, husband, children, society and health. This trust is easily transferable as newer, shinier and more promising aspirants appear on the scene.
Society needs trust because it is poised between confidence in the familiar based on everyday experience and changing scenarios based on science and technology. Great sums of money are spent on state-of-the-art equipment like cell phones, TV or fridge ignoring the inbuilt obsolescence. Very soon your equipment loses its cutting edge technology and you re-invest in another piece that promises incredibly long shelf-life!
Every five years or sooner, we go through a process called elections. We place our trust in the person and party that we vote for and that they will keep some of the promises detailed in their manifesto. We do this knowing full well that the promises in the past have not been kept. We rant and rave throughout the allotted period of governance at the bumbling acts of commission, corruption and omission of the ruling party. However, come re-lections, we are forced to choose between experience and optimism. Hope, you see, is inextricably linked with trust.
Sharada adds a codicil: you also have to trust a lawyer! God forbid that you need one, but when that happens, you just have to go by what they say, don’t you?
Today the universal feeling is “In God we trust! Others pay cash”. Women: they have self-trust deficit!