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  • Writer's pictureNMS


Updated: Oct 25, 2022

Yesterday I meet two new friends from Australia. I learnt a new expression... Wise trust.

I'm a writing a series of observations and reflections. They will create a compilation at some time in the future.

Christiane, My wife - has a great friend in Australia. She told us friends of hers are visiting Kelowna; so we invite them to come around.

Over an afternoon and evening we eat, share stories and I recorded a track for them and created the artwork. First time I've done that for someone. Intense and brilliant. I was Music Producer. Rock n Roll.

Anyway it's Monday and after a working Saturday and producing and social Sunday I'm tired! Sunday was intense concentration, fun sharing music and deep discussions. Gaining insights from another continent and different lives. It's enlightening and rich. Cannabis shops a shock to Australians where that drug is still illegal.

Both of our guests, a husband and wife team, had been teachers and School Chaplains in Australia. One still has this second role, the other leads a church. Apparently School Districts see the great positive impact School Chaplains have and the Government backed this scheme with partial financing. I think we should adopt it in Canada.


In the course of our discussions they spoke of having WISE TRUST.

I heard the expression WISE TRUST for the first time...

I have never heard this as an expression. It's simple, pithy, memorable and packs a big question. It is what? and... the opposite of Wise Trust is... Naivety? Idiocy? A recipe for disaster. Aha.

Apparently some people either trust completely, or not at all. These folk swing from trusting someone completely to not trusting them at all. From hope in their new best friend to devastation at being betrayed. Then repeat the cycle.

Apparently The Pendulum Effect can be created through upbringing and experiences. It's a lack of a rounded character. People have not been taught how to trust to different degrees. Trust to them is absolute yes, or no.


So, I was hearing that the skating world was fixed from my earliest recollections. Judges doing deals with Coaches, gifts at Christmas of fur coats, going and skating in a Judges' pet Ice Gala project to curry favour for their vote, or not upset them because you said no, the norm. The politics of winning marks for your performance.

And of course at events you had to be polite to all the Judges and Officials at the initial Reception, getting on and off the bus and whenever in a Judge populated environment. This, whilst you knew they were all doing deals. All smiles... I did it, and it was normal. The fact that our British Judge would sit on the other side of the rink to the group of foreign Judges during practices did my head in. Get over there and do the deals for me my angst. That was the game. Maybe and probably our British Judge was modelling the integrity I inwardly sought?

So this programming and my constant being left (because my parents worked unsocial hours) gave me an I Survive Alone mentality. I keep looping on this as I am seeking to break it and it's fascinating to me to learn of things that were hidden from my view. Perhaps it's never to late to reprograme the computer?


I simple never learnt WISE TRUST. I think, deep down, I wanted to trust, I did not want to believe everyone was on the take. Perhaps too I did not want to be surviving alone and - perhaps - I wanted to see a utopian world of honour, trustworthiness and love where we all supported each other and I was safe with you.

Goodness me... So what?


We had some teaching at church a while back by a wise female Pastor and her hubby. They took us (a large group of adults) through a programme week by week about boundaries. It was about who we let into our inner circle. And how we let people's opinions infuence us.

I am reminded of it now.


How do I decide who I trust? And with what level of trust do I ascribe to them?

Can I trust myself? To do what? To be on time? To contribute? To be my word - that my yes is yes and my no is no.

Last week I said I would meet two guys and I was too busy and didn't get back to them. Thus I broke my word! Big deal for me. I have two other things to sort I'm reminded of! So apologise and sort it today. I need not have said yes to the meetings, then I would not have broken my word.

Can I trust myself to not lie, steal, break the law (even a tiny bit because that law's wrong)? Can I trust myself to not think the wrong things, etc., etc... Well... No. Not completely. I can make a good score overall but nobody's Jesus!

So how can I totally trust someone else then? Good question - doh! Penny dropping slowly.


So I seek to learn and get breakthroughs. Developing trust I'm reminded, takes time and takes a moment to break.

I helped train corporate execs and their teams in England. On one occasion after an intensive three day period we reached the final afternoon of the residential event before everyone left to go home. Final day, final afternoon the CEO, a tall guy, stood on a table edge in the centre of the conference room. His job was to let himself fall forwards with his arms by his sides. His team were arranged in two rows facing each other in line with where he would drop. Each person streched their arms in front of themselves and they were close enough to each other so that their arms overlapped. The hands were not linked so each person was independent in how they were standing. Their directive was to stretch through their arms and to imagine their arms were like rods of steel and were connecting to the wall in the distance before them - to focus on that. It is the visualisation of connection and of reaching through rather than holding back. The arms of the team did not touch each other.

None of the group were weightlifters so it looked like he might simply plummet to the ground and suffer severe injury. So the Boss let himself fall into this waiting, flimsy looking net. There was a tenseness in the air. It was scary, ridiculous, the Boss had to trust, as did each team member about to catch. And I don't want to be the one to drop my Boss. And the Boss doesn't want to be in A&E with concussion and a broken nose.

The Boss let himself fall forward from standing on the table top. Amazingly he simply landed in a cushioned support as the arms bounced a little and did not falter at all catching him. It is amazing to see and experience doing this. It changes your paradigm as to what is possible. When I did it later I found the catching to feel light... How does that work?

Trust was created and over the three days of intense learning, trust had been built. The training looked at life goals, values and what was currently being undertaken. It was an eye opener. The CEO I recall said he was going to leave at 5:00pm every day from then on. He had a wife and a young child and had seen where his values lay, and his 24/7 commitment to work were incongruous with that.


"Would someone else like a go?" the lead coach asked. A volunteer came forward, the CEO now one of the team of catchers.

The young lady got on the table and stood with trepidation and...

Just as she was about to consider falling forward off the table, arms by her side, someone wobbled the table she stood on...

Now if you've ever seen a Marvel type movie you may have seen an explosion going off in that room. It's where a force field seems to move out from the epicentre. It's a white bubble that emphasises the explosion. Now imagine that with no sound... That's what happend in that room. TRUST WAS BROKEN... It affected everybody there.

The young lady on the table top pulled back from the edge. The team waiting for her with outstretched arms all either pulled back from their positions or arms dropped. It was a horrible moment. Traumatic. That one small moment could break that degree of trust, respect and ... I want to write love - in a very positive sense here - that had been built, was tangible in the air.

I shook the table.

Why did I shake the table? I don't know. That moment of comedy, that moment of acting without knowing enough of the impact it would make? I remember I was not deliberately trying to break trust, I was jesting. Wrong place, wrong time.

I was shocked and knew I was an idjit for having acting this way immediately. I was out of order. Perhaps some of us do that sometimes? We do that bit of fun that backfires? This was a feeble attempt at comedy that backfired!

So the age old dictum of - It takes a lifetime to build trust and a moment to break it - came to our conversation.

If I had learnt about WISE TRUST I would not have wobbled the table. I would have know that that was not the time.

Did trust get built back that afternoon, yes. But the feeling to me of the group that we had reached was never totally recaptured.


So - What can I trust you with? - was a question poised in our conversations yesterday.

What can I trust you with, a different question to my naive: I trust you for everything, or for nothing.

One partner cheated on the other in marriage was one example quoted. Is the marriage therefore dead and over? Not necessarily. Asking for and receiving forgiveness a part of the re-building process and then a 'What can I trust you for?' The question constantly asked. What boundaries to set to not jump into absolute trust are wise? Building back trust, and earning trust I heard, from our guests who have witnessed this working in real life, comes over time.

Can I ever trust you, completely? Ha, maybe a basis for a song methinks.


Let my yes be yes and my no be no - and maintain loyalty to the absent.

Often times the simplest principles go deep for me as reminders.


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