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Trust

According to a Pew survey millennials are not trusting:

Millennials are less trusting of others than older Americans are. Asked a long-standing social science survey question, “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people,” just 19% of Millennials say most people can be trusted, compared with 31% of Gen Xers, 37% of Silents and 40% of Boomers.

I think this mistrust informs our perception of value.  Pretend you are in a casino at a poker table.  But you don’t trust that the poker chips can be cashed out so you don’t bother playing.  For a lot of us, a thing’s value isn’t derived from what it is claimed, it is derived from how easily it can be cashed out.  Think of the “you have innate worth” trope that gets trotted out time and time again in modern psychology.  We ask, why can’t our supposed “worth” be cashed out anywhere but the therapist’s office.  Why can’t it be cashed out at the job interview or in church or at the club?  And if it can’t be is this worth worth anything in the first place?

When there is mistrust in the financial markets everyone flocks to gold.  When there is mistrust present in a generation people flock to things that can be seen and felt.  We flock to pets, platonic relationships and nature.  Religion, marriage, and political parties not so much.  The bigger of a group of people involved in something generally the worse the results.  As I wrote in my other blog, trusting is deferring to a person or institution with power with a best case scenario of breaking even.