Elements for Building Trust, Gift of Trust

The phrase "to earn our trust" is often spoken. This is an understandable idea and at first glance seems most appropriate. Yet today's fast-paced world often brings people together for brief amounts of time to consider and reach significant decisions. There is little time to earn each other's trust in the classical sense. In some tribal societies, it isn't unusual for complete strangers to walk into villages and be immediately treated as a friend. The villagers trust the stranger as if they knew him already. By giving over this Gift of Trust, the villagers are assessing the stranger by his/her reaction: does the visitor treasure the gift or abuse it? There isn't time for the villagers to measure the good or bad of a person before deciding whether or not to welcome them into their communities so intuitively they offer the stranger a Gift of Trust and wait to see whether or not the visitor abuses it and the stranger's reaction will provide the villagers with their answer.