TED Conversations

Kimberly Ann

Program Manager, Atienza Kali

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What is the bond that holds a community together? If woven properly, how can this common bond positively change the world?

How do we use this bond to strengthen our relationships and grow together as a species?


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    Jul 30 2013: The golden rule is too low a bar for my liking... Simply doing no harm stills allows many "sins" of omission and negligence that allow the bonds of trust to be weakened. A moral test that is more robust and directly beneficial to the bonds of community is "does this build or erode trust". Trust is the real currency of healthy communities, families and couples.
    • Aug 2 2013: to be trusted by a fellow person without doubt is the greatest thing that one can aim to achieve. Being honest generates that trust. if a person's value be decided based on the good deeds rather than wealth, everyone will follow the path of doing good. think once when you perform an act. how is this going to affect someone or anyone. put yourself in that person's place and then think if the act is the right thing to do or not. being on the other side will help to make sound decisions, which generates trust and respect. which aimed for by everyone, will become a strong community.
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        Aug 5 2013: Right on. "To thine own self be true," Shakespeare said. And in order to be true to yourself, you got to be honest with yourself.
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      Aug 5 2013: I think 'trust' might be better than any of the answers I gave. It makes such good sense. But what if I trust someone in the sense that I think they mean well, that they mean the very best, but at the same time I don't trust them in the sense that despite their best intentions and efforts they simply can't be relied upon to do the job?

      Let me give an example for you to answer, if you want, instead. Take a community as small as a basketball team. The game is in the final seconds and there is time for one more shot. As the coach, I know I can trust that any of my players would give that last shot their best shot (no pun intended), but can I really trust that all of them will actually make that shot, or is it more likely that I can only really trust that one? Honesty, as Jealani put it, seems to lay behind the trust or 'generates that trust.'

      That might seem like an outlandish example, but it is easy for me to see how a group of people build up trust in another. However, it is also easy to see how I can put too much trust in a person. What I need is to be honest with myself and with the other person about what they are really capable of. It seems less important that I want to trust a person, than it is whether or not I honestly can or should trust in that person.
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        Aug 7 2013: Daniel

        Thank you for your commentary. What I am proposing is to use trust as a self imposed standard by which to measure your own choices and actions. I am not proposing to dwell on the conditions of trust that I would invest in others actions or choices. I do not disagree that this is sometimes needed and beneficial, however the overarching dialogue in this conversation has to do with building the bonds of community.

        I submit to you another idea: that it is possible to express a lack of trust in another persons capabilities (such as the scenario that you describe), yet do it in a caring and honest manner that actually builds trust between you and that person in the long term. Conversely, it is possible to sugarcoat your communications with them, so that they do not get a clear understanding of your judgement until they infer it from your actions or from the comments of other people. In my opinion this strategy almost always erodes long term trust.
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          Aug 8 2013: The other idea you submitted made me think, Bernie, about the necessity of white lies and possibility of gentle (as opposed to brutal) honesty when being truthful while expressing doubt.

          I agree with you that the sugarcoating of communications erodes long term trust. I think it is more difficult, for me at least, to express a lack of trust in other people in a caring and honest manner. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm not even thinking you're wrong. The sense of alienation from society (i.e. community) that I experience comes from the inability to be honest with one another, to have real conversations about real things, because it seems to me that everything must have a thick crust of sugarcoating.

          But despite my best efforts to express a lack of trust in caring and honest manners, I must be terrible at doing so, because people most often taken offense or get defensive or generally turned the encounter into a situation. So its better to keep my mouth shut most of the time. I'm sick of the sugarcoating and I'm not getting through (yet) with the 'lovingkindness' sort of anti-trust. That's why I've honed in on the honesty that Jealani spoke about.

          I really appreciate your response, though. I've had to sit here an unusually long time composing my response and searching for a way to explain myself, which only came after a quarter of an hour contemplating the second paragraph of your comment.

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