Chattering Mind

I do not consistently telegraph to my children how distressed I am about international events. The kids force me to find things I can believe in and trust–instead of complain about.

I admire families that speak openly about politics and argue issues over the dinner table. But lately, I’ve been picking up on a cosmic lack of trust in everything, alive in the mind of our 12-year-old. World news is so distressing, global warming has us in its clutch, and here he is, emerging into the world as an older young adult. He needs to bulk up on happy thoughts, and find institutions, people, and a higher power he can trust. So I was especially eager to read this article from the current issue of Forbes written by Tom Tyler, author of “Trust in the Law” and “Trust in Organizations.”

Tyler writes: “Whether you’re talking about small groups, larger institutions or society in general, trust is an important condition of effectiveness, because trust leads to high levels of engagement and motivation. When they trust authorities and institutions, people feel connected to groups and do what is needed to help them succeed.”

If your trust in others has been damaged, how do you work to reconnect? Parents, how to your nourish trust–consciusly or unconsciously–in the minds of your growing children?

Forbes’ fun sidebar on trustworthy celebrities helps to get us thinking about how trust is built. Tom Hanks tops the list, followed by Rachel Ray, Michael J. Fox, Oprah Winfrey, James Earle Jones, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and more.

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