OPINION: Like many of you readers will, I remember the collapse of the Soviet Union - the old USSR.
I'm sure some of you will remember the days when you didn't need to lawyer-up for everything like we do today. A handshake was every bit as good as actually having the money in your bank account.
How times have changed! Think about it; when my generation finally leaves the planet, there will be nobody left here with firsthand memories of this now extinct business practice.
Of course, an old-fashioned, almost forgotten ideal and value known as trust was a huge part of life back then. Actually, it was all based on trust, and of course, people honouring their own word right there in the mix as well.
Since March 2020 when a virus changed our world, I have heard people ask, or state "It's just so difficult to know who to trust", or "Yeah, but who can you trust?" etc. on more occasions than I can keep record of. Yep, this trust thing keeps coming up continually. And then added to that we have multiple voices trying to convince us, allure or bribe us, to trust them!
Let me take the opportunity here to refresh your thinking a little about trust; about the real thing, not a watered-down look-a-like. Trust is always something that is earned over time. It is never an instant or fast-tracked thing. It cannot be bought with money, shoved down your throat or legislated into our hearts. Bullying folk or shaming them won't cut it either.
What we should be asking ourselves is, what works for us when it comes to trust? What needs to happen to enable you to trust? Or, what causes you to lose your trust?
For me, it's things like honesty, personal integrity, taking responsibility - not trying to spin or twist stuff. And their track record here is very important too. How can you trust people when they lie to you and let you down?
For me, I'm staying with the above as I have proved it now over so many decades. I'd suggest you stay with what does it for you too.
I have people in my life, as you will in yours, who I trust implicitly. I have totally no doubts or fears concerning them. As the old saying puts it so well, "I would trust them with my life."
There are people I would jump in a foxhole with a flash, without any hesitation! Of course, that level of trust is earned over time; it's a relationship thing that gets tested and proved in the ups and downs of life. You can't just flick your fingers or scratch a card and get that.
I have in my files a copy of a survey done a few years back to find New Zealand's 75 most trusted people. No politicians made it into the top 55! Thought I'd mention that just in case you might be wondering if I would have any politicians in my foxhole!
Well, this column wraps it up for me for 2021. I trust I have been able to encourage you, or maybe clear the fog in some small way, as you traverse life's journey for you. Thanks to those of you who contacted me over the year, I really appreciated hearing from you. It's been my privilege to be part of the Rural News family again this year.
So, from me to you, have a blessed Christmas and holiday break... and remember the reason behind this season. And yep, He's definitely the One I trust the most.
Looking forward to '22.