This has been a difficult week for me. I faced hard terrain and difficult schedules. I had to make tough calls and travel more than 1600km. In all this I kept going back to the realization that all our actions are shaped by our perception of the people in front of us.  In all our day to day dealings it is the element of trust or mistrust that determines the way forward. I have seen old women take a step back, look at the face of the juvenile kombi driver before opting out of the front of the queue to wait for a ‘trustworthy’ driver to rank.  I have seen people swap queues at service centers because they do not ‘feel’ the teller in front of them.

This set me musing. Out of it I realized that we all have to exercise some element of faith to continue living. The problem comes when we do not want to admit that the thing we call trust is actually faith. Why is that you get into the car, close the door, put the seat belt on and confidently turn the ignition on? What makes you not doubt the patent and DNA of your offspring?

We all hide under the term trust. We trust people not to sleep with our partners, we trust pastors to minister only the gospel to housewives when they tour during day time. We trust service providers to have us at heart when they render service. We trust, we trust we trust!!

But in the view of so many broken marriages, so many dissolving businesses, so many scandals, so many broken vows, so many tainted marital beds and so many infected innocent loving souls can we still afford to operate on the level of trust only? Can trust carry us through? When you say, ‘ Nqobile I trust you to do this for me’, do you totally believe in my acumen or you are just gambling on probabilities?

So much pain has come with trust, I now believe trust is a cosmetic mask that we wear in a bid to hide our insecurities, shortcomings, shortfalls and deficiencies. We need something more than trust. Trust is a result of an academic assessment of what we perceive and many times we are proven wrong. The people we trust break our hearts, betray us, deny us, fleece us and cause so much pain. All because we choose to use the human essence to run our affairs.

I believe the time has come from us to up the ante on our game. We will lose nothing by asking our new partners to take an HIV test with us, by asking our business partners go for a criminal clearance, by asking our employees to produce their credentials, by asking our regulators to give us benchmarks by which we will measure them.

So much time, money, life, confidence, health, love and families have been destroyed because of futile trust. Look over your shoulder and see what I mean. Can we still afford to operate merely on trust without being circumspect?

As the sun rises tomorrow , can I trust you to not to break the pledge , the vow , the oath you made to me without me checking if you have not broken trust in the same line before? Can I trust you?

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