Not long ago, I heard someone say that trust is like paper. Once it is crumpled, it can’t be perfect again. “Trust takes yeas to build, seconds to break and forever to repair.”
Trusting people’s intentions, situations, weather predictions, documents, elevators, traffic lights, even our own impulsive reactions during difficult moments, is not easy. Thankfully, the universe has a magical way of working trust issues. It puts people in your journey at the right time so that you teach them something or you learn something from them about trust. This summer for example, my biggest trust lesson and experience came from rural Ontario in Canada, its people and its “honor system” which is still used at farms and other small businesses.
Most Canadians I know, are nice people in general. In fact, I used to think they are just either too nice and too polite to be trusted, or definitely naive. But now, I attribute their niceness to their roots. Their trust system. The honor code they are used to live by.
It is the kind of system that someone growing up between New York City and Mexico and now living in Dominican Republic cannot fully comprehend. This “trust” system is foreign, idealistic, and impossible to practice in our opinion.
This is how the system works. In a family farm (usually), where planting and harvesting has to happen continuously and with little help, the farmer has to invest most of his/her time doing just that. Selling their products is key to sustain the farm, obviously. But it becomes a simple task, when you trust your clients will be honest. It can save you the salary of one or two people, or it can simply give the cashier peace of mind when going to the restroom or stepping out to lunch.
- The client will show up, pick up what he/she needs and leave the exact amount of money equivalent to what he/she took.
- If he/she needs change, no problem… The cashier usually leaves a basket or bowl, full of coins so that you help yourself to the right amount of change.
- It’s that simple.
It is simple for those who are used to the system, those who can easily trust others and those whose honor is intact. The system helped me understand lots about my husband and how he was raised. It helped me see, why it is so hurtful to him, when he realizes people have lied to him or given him false pretenses… It all comes from there. He grew up in a place, where people tend to be honest and true, where people mean what they say, where people do the right thing even while no one is watching.
While I couldn’t ask everyone employing this system whether it works well or not, for obvious reasons (they were not there when we picked up the eggs, or the corn, etc.)…. I am just going to assume it does. Otherwise, the system would not be utilized any more.
I am sure the system is not perfect and it may have its flaws, but it can teach us lots. It shows that trust can be granted by default. Only if we are kind enough to believe in the good of people.
NOTE. Images are not from my travels. They were found online.