I have a Bachelor's degree in anthropology, an Associates in fashion design and merchandising, and nearly thirteen years of teaching experience, none of which give me any authority, what so ever, to speak about economics. However, that has never stopped me from expounding on a subject that is current and relates directly to topics that I am very passionate about and familiar with.
In my personal and admittedly simplistic view, economics is about giving and taking, selling and buying, supply and demand; if you have something I want or need, we figure out what it is worth to each of us and finalize the transaction. Economics is about the job market, as well, where similar negotiations occur. What are my time, talent, skills, ideas, and energy worth to each of us? Personal worth, for many, however, is often traded or lost in the immediate necessity of providing for a family, because basic survival trumps enjoyment, passion, unique individual interests, or even dignity.
This is just one of many reasons I am saddened to hear and read suggestions, in our world of gross inequity, that people should have to earn basic emotional needs, such as trust, as well as the multitude of other primal necessities.
Elementary trust from our fellow human beings, in other words, has become just another commodity that now has to be worked and bargained for in this dysfunctional, vulgar economy.
Last week, I wrote about trusting each of my students (current and future) and understanding on a profound level that they each know, instinctively, exactly what they need to learn and that they will all work together as a team to respect each other and the space that offers them opportunities for expressing their creativity and ideas.
The basic definition of trust resides within that statement. Trust is a fundamental part of every minute of every day; it is an inherent faith in humanity; it is the central essence of every successful relationship; it is the integral understanding that each of us is human and that we all make mistakes, but we all want to strive to be our best selves.
I will argue that personal feelings and emotions should not be withheld as just one more bargaining chip in exchange for good behavior, or relinquished control of personal essence. Trust is a basic human need that should be just as crucial as love, nourishment, or shelter.
Research has shown over and over again that people who are economically (fiscally and emotionally) deprived, will first lose hope and self-confidence and then will resort to whatever means they need to achieve rudimentary survival.
When we consistently and consciously offer trust, respect, kindness, as well as our true essence to everyone (adults and children) we encounter, it allows for real authentic moments, where defenses are lowered, and where we are all equals sharing the gifts of compassion that everyone deserves.