As fundamentals of civilizations and human groups since the frontal lobe got turned on for us, trust is one of those core things that holds the fabric together, keeping it from fraying and unraveling into anarchy and violence. The lack of trust within individuals of a group is directly linked to the groups dissipation.

You need, absolutely need to take some things on faith and trust that the community’s already taken some necessary steps to ensure that your trust is justified. You need to trust your surgeon is competent and knows what he/she’s doing because the society already made them jump through so many hoops to be where they are now and do what they are doing, you need to believe that your pilot or air traffic controller won’t take the edge of his responsible job by downing half a bottle of whiskey at breakfast, you need to trust that the kindergarten will keep any eye on your kids so you can go about your day, you need to trust that your coworkers will do their job so you can do yours, you need to trust that if you’re ill that a food producer’s certificate guarantees the foods weren’t sprayed by chemicals that will make you worse. You need trust in order to not go mad and be able to function and advance, to live a full life of loving surrender devoid of constant fear.

Yet trust is not an unexamined blank slate. Intelligent trust is far different than living on empty promises, which is a recipe for disastrous entropy. In no way does trusting mean being naïve, it may be brave but not naïve at all. There will be those who use flattery and promises to get what they want but won’t fulfill the other side of the reciprocal social contract. These are not the ones to be mad at (because you are a free entity that can choose, intuitively or based on previous information, if you’ll trust here). They are to be pitied in a way because they are breaking one of the fundamental laws of humanity. There is a saying that only fools live on promises. There should be an annex as well adding that only fools break promises, devaluing the social capital and trust they need to move through the world, until they are left alone and isolated due to destroying a core value.

Don’t live in promises, but in intelligent trust. The higher the stakes the more intelligent you’ll have to be about it. It’s not a big deal to lose a couple of bucks to a street con-artist, but it is a big deal to not be reasonably sure you can trust someone you love and have decided to bind your life to. We are not solitary structures, we need others, we need the community to outsource some of our needs, products, food, services, and more times than not some of our sanity. Without intelligent trust we wither on the wine. Who we are is a network of influences. Choose where to put your trust carefully but don’t be afraid to follow the gut telling you it’s all right to trust in a situation which offers no logical previous data to analyze. Sometimes you’ll take a leap of faith and you just know. The body is far smarter than your rational fears. Live in trust not promises and make yourself trustworthy and someone people can rely on. Your promise binds you.