Building Trust & Social movements

Social movements in the Naga context cannot take the people for granted just because the issue is one of public concern. They need to engage in building trust with truth and rise above divisive forces. Only when trust is embraced by the Naga social movements, can it bring understanding, solidarity, and unity in purpose and equity for everyone.


Trust has now become a rare commodity in Nagaland. The conditions of separate and divide has taken its toll as fear, mistrust, stereotypes and suspicion have become the norm. These conditions directly challenge building sustainable social movements which are founded on trust. Without trust, no social movement can endure and prevail.


Trust founded on right relationship is one of the most significant factors that can inspire and propel united human action and generate solidarity. It empowers us to courageously respond in ways that are unimaginable, yet manifests remarkable outcomes. At its core, the essence of trust releases a dynamic energy for human beings to act with humility, modesty, sincerity (self-honesty), with clarity, grounded in a deeper sense of purpose and connection to the whole. All too often its role and value, true potential have been underestimated. It can also be misappropriated and misused when building relationships across spheres of human endeavor.


Trust-building is a dynamic synergistic process. In reality, trust is present at some level in all human interactions and human relationships. Trust can be strengthened over time through shared experiences that become a transformative force. The very essence of building trust is intimate and interconnected in a vast web of values and processes that nurtures its growth and vibrancy.


It is perhaps from this perspective that examining trust as a key element in shaping and guiding social movements is crucial. When trust is undervalued, the powers that be can exploit by introducing doubt and suspicion, thereby creating conditions for a trust-deficit. The careless use of harsh violent words and the tendency to make sweeping assumptions only feeds the cycle of distrust.


As a result, misunderstanding occurs and divisions deepen. Eventually, the intrusive nature of the trust-deficit suppresses and prevents dialogue and discussion of critical issues. When the capacity to trust is lost, reasoning is displaced, then cynicism, negativity and ultimately fear overtake positive feeling connections.


To build social movements means to engage in trust-building. And, trust grows only when it walks hand in hand with truth. The true nature of trust is sensitive to untruths. It has the ability to feel when it has been betrayed and recognizes the forces of ego driven domination and oppression, discrimination and prejudice. Ultimately, it does not remain silent to the destructiveness of divide and rule and the hegemony of the powers that be.


It is time for social movements in the Naga context to muster the course to form right relationships that engender trust. This will ultimately challenge the unjust status quo.


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