Trust is a fragile creature. It is a most ephemeral yet powerful force. Once lost, it can never be fully regained; it can only be earned back, one step at a time.
Smith’s comment applies to all trust — whether between friends, within a family, within a volunteer organization, within a business, within a government, between equals, and between supervisors and subordinates.
Smith’s article is about financial systems, and I’ve had at least one of my friends (hi Rob!!) tell me that while they enjoy a lot of what I write, they’re not really that interested in the financial stuff.
I’ve tried to define for myself why I read so much financial opinion and history. Partly it’s because finance and money are things that bring out best and worst in human nature, including the tendency of people to talk themselves and others into ideas and logic and justifications they might not accept otherwise.
And that gets us back to trust. It doesn’t really matter why you violated someone’s trust; once you’ve broken that trust, it takes time and effort to rebuild it.