Once, a very good friend of mine from Croatia (thank you Hrvoje!) recently invited me to an international online meeting, attended by 40 + different business leaders from around the world.

The main theme for the session was the importance of building and strengthening trust. The meeting, and in particular some of the expressions used, was quite revealing.

After the meeting, I wondered what the key ingredient to a successful social, business or political campaign is?

What is the one vital component needed to build sustainable relationships or enhance existing economical models?

What can help us, always but especially when times are tough and we need to rely on ourselves a lot more?

How can we create sustainable communities? It is the trust which is a “glue of life”. It is the trust, which holds relationships, helps to improve our interpersonal connectivity and which is often called upon in the moment of crisis.

During the meeting, the speaker talked about the “poverty of trust”. I found this expression relevant and actually very powerful.

I used to think about poverty purely in financial and economic terms. However, today, after the pandemic, ongoing cost of living crisis, and still relatively high inflation, we can suffer from social, cultural or spiritual poverty. Poverty can’t be defined in one way and it has a wide range of definitions.

I am fully aware that we have plenty of reasons not to trust, to be cynics. Today’s society, the state of global affairs, often leaves us with little or no hope.

In recent years, we have been experiencing that trust is so easily lost and it is often so hard to rebuild.

So what’s the answer to some of the challenges, which many of us experience, when faced with democratic disengagement or unresolved challenges in our day jobs?

In my view, there are a few basis rules, which can help to break some of these barriers:

· Being authentic

· Not being afraid to admit that there might be gaps in our knowledge

· Being genuinely interested in people’s views, even if they are different than ours

· Trying to listen to understand and not listen to respond

· Trying to be the first to trust, without prejudice. Sometimes a simple smile can help to “move mountains”...?

In conclusion, whatever we do, wherever we are, we must never forget that building trust is the key to an improved social engagement, better, more fulfilling and meaningful participation in life in general.

In spite of suffering, pain and uncertainty, is the fast-approaching Easter a good moment to start again, be grateful for one another, and where possible, “re-charge our batteries” so that we are ready to embrace better (and possibly different) tomorrow?