Trust crisis

Witoubou Newmai

Each Naga must acknowledge with a nerve of urgency that the situation demands all of us to be all willing to retrospect more intensely the circumstances (and factors) that have helped the Naga society to attain the present situation. This exercise must be considered as one attempt to extricate Nagas from the grim situation.  

While there is no disagreement over the slogan--“Nagas must progress”--, what happens when each of us is aggressively categorizing ourselves into uniquely hardened small boxes in insecurity? The prolonged conflict that diminishes our capacity of endurance further manifests many more things, and among them is mistrust. 

Even as mistrust overwhelms the society for a long time now, Nagas have been struggling by seemingly employing all the main Freudian defence mechanisms in various contexts. These mechanisms are nothing but “responses to anxiety and how the consciousness and unconsciousness manage the stress of a social situation” (Roger R Hock via Wikipedia). 

But of late, since it is a difficult thing for anybody to go on with these defence mechanisms for an infinite period, there are signs of tiredness among the Nagas. As such, Nagas begin to loosen the tight. Consequently, this later state of affair further manifests something else—reactionary responses.

Such has become the situation that, the difficulties, how intensive they may be, Nagas must go back to relearn the simple subject of how trust can help grow a society and how mistrust can bring a society down. The relearning should culminate with the acceptance that there is mistrust in our society and own up the problem. 

Rewinding the process and by a way of giving an emphasis to the importance of trust, we must remind ourselves of David Horsager’s “The eight pillars of trust---(1) clarity, (2) compassion, (3) character, (4) competency, (5) commitment, (6) connection, (7) contribution and (8) consistency”.

According to Horsager, these pillars of trust are interrelated. For instance, “listening is one of the best ways to show compassion (Pillar 2) and is also a major part of connection (Pillar 6),” argues Horsager. 

In his voluminous book ‘The Trust Edges’, Horsager says that “trust is the natural result of thousands of tiny actions, words, thoughts, and intentions”. He further says that “people trust the clear and distrust the ambiguous”.  He adds that, “at its core, trust is about relationships”. The author, based on intensive, extensive and meticulous research, then shows that "trust is a quantifiable competency that brings dramatic results”. Trust, not money and other material benefits, is the currency of building and maintaining a society, indeed.

But the Naga society must also remind itself that there are too many variables which work against the unwilling people. For instance, there is the validity of time to accept that there is mistrust in our society and to own up the 'mistakes'. Beyond it, assaults of the paradigmatic changes around the world will bring different configurations. So, promptly doing things when any situation demands us to do so is extremely crucial. In this regard, we may remind ourselves of Brutus logic in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:

Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe. The enemy increaseth every day. We, at the height, are ready to decline. There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves Or lose our ventures”. 

The “enemy” here in Brutus comment may or may not be necessarily someone (men and women) in our context. The approach one takes and the lens one views, when they do not suit the changing situation, should also be considered “enemies”. A simple phrase and logic of “enemy only harms” may serve to drive home the point if one’s approach becomes detrimental rather than helping the person. Coming to this point of discussion deviates a bit, but we must point out for relevance that the ‘linear process’ that we take and the ‘singular condition’ that we see no longer suit the situation of the day because of the intensification of paradigmatic changes. This has proven that we have ignored the demands of the situation by ‘mispositioning’ ourselves between when to act and what to consider. 

For the sake of reminding, and to begin with, we must recognise what a given situation demands from us. The prevailing situation also demands each one of us to accept that there is mistrust and all of us must own up the problems. This act will give us leverages if we are willing to grow and repair damaged relationships so as to “take the current when it serves”, and not to “lose our ventures”.