Should we be a less trusting society?

Remember back to when you were a child. You could jump on the bike, shout out to your Mum that you’re riding to Johnny’s house and as long as you were home by the time the street lights came on you weren’t going to get in to trouble. Now remember when you got into mischief at the local park and Mick the baker or Jim the corner store owner would come out, grab you by the ear and take you home to Mum. He’d also call her by name and then make plans to come over for dinner one weeknight. This was the trusting, communal, mostly high integrity life we once lived. But sadly today isn’t the same. So we’re asking the question, should we live less trusting lives?

In the last six months there are so many horrific incidents that have occurred – all from being too trusting.

Three-year-old William Tyrrell was playing in his Grandmother’s yard when he was abducted and over six months later he’s still nowhere to be found.

Last week, a man went door knocking around several Brisbane suburbs pretending to be Ian Frazer, the man who created the first ever cancer vaccine against cervical cancer. He is alleged to have stolen thousands of dollars from people believing they are donating to research.

Then there’s the countless women who have lost their lives to domestic violence – a number that currently correlates to one every week since the start of the year.

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Each of these incidents eventuated from people taking advantage of the trust from others. William’s grandmother trusted her community. The people in Brisbane suburbs trusted that someone collecting money for an important humanitarian cause would be real and they were generous in believing so. Then each woman who died at the hands of domestic violence trusted that person to not harm her.

Everything comes down to the fact that we trust other people. We trust the good in people and we try to avoid scepticism, but is it time that scepticism became the norm?

It is so sad that society has shifted so dramatically throughout our lifetime. Where we once loved and valued community, an increasing number of people don’t even know their neighbours. Where we knew the local tradesman and storeowners, we choose monopolised stores and wholesale retailers.

We can’t live our lives with incredible scepticism because where is the fun in that. But perhaps it is time for us to be more cautious about other people and their motives.


So tell us today, do you feel that we’re too trusting? Should we be less trusting of others in order to protect ourselves? Share your thoughts in the comments below…