Friday, January 6, 2017

Trust, Earned or Granted?

How many times can we ask the question, “What are we going to do?” Only to do nothing, over and over again! 

By Nick Ashton, CEO/CIO, CommSmart Global Group

There is no wave of violence, whether teen or adult, it is a Tsunami and the warning sirens have been wailing for scores of years and no one is listening that is willing to use proactive methods to stop the continuance of societal destruction!

Community leaders worry worldwide that this either at a tipping point or way beyond redemption.

The Rev. Charles Harrison, who heads the Ten Point Coalition, Indianapolis, Indiana, warns, "If we don't get a handle on this we could have a very violent summer."

Harrison, who has worked with at-risk teens for 15 years, doesn't like what he's seeing.

"These kids are dealing with conflict, argument, and fights by using deadly force now," he said.

How right he is! Forget to be the winter of discontent, Shakespeare included the heat of summer and the nights of bored, wilful violence that follows.

It is not just one or any town, USA, it is worldwide that violence, death, and frustration abound.

WTHR (NBC) television reported that while crime data from Indianapolis Metro Police Department shows that 48% of all homicides between 2007 and 2012 occurred within five zip codes (46218, 46201, 46208, 46205, 46222), Harrison notes that teen crime is spreading to downtown and beyond.

He points to the shooting last month near Circle Center Mall and last week's deadly crime spree involving a 15-year-old and 17-year-old, which ended in a high-speed chase and crash.

"Basically, the Post Road kids are coming downtown and they're bringing their guns and they also went to Broad Ripple (last summer,)" he said. "So, what's going on in those (high-crime) neighborhoods will eventually affect not just the Indianapolis community, but the donut counties, too, because these kids are going to move."

A conversation was had the other day and this point was made:

“Trust and chaos have an inversely proportional relationship. As trust nears zero, we’re all going to be in serious trouble.”

This statement implies that as trust goes up, chaos decreases and vice-versa. The more I think about it, the more I think this isn’t exactly right. How could it be right? If it were this simple, trust would be universal, right? And we know this isn’t the case. Not even close. 


There is a direct relationship between trust and conflict (or chaos). Trust is at the heart of most, if not all, of the conflicts and problems on this little planet. But the relationship is far from simple.

No matter what station in life you have attained, we all want something for nothing, no wants to work for it, it is "the I want it all to now syndrome". Like was stated the other day, “Rich people, those with money are evil and need to give it to those who have not!” Who is feeding this mindset of pollution of distrust?

Before I get into the fundamentals of society and its failings and bore the pants of you, let us use a simple graphic
(seen above) I was sent the other day: 

Earned & Granted 

There are two ways that we are thinking about the relationship between trust and conflict. The first is a simplified categorization of trust. This categorizes trust as earned and/or granted.

This is the first opportunity for conflict. And in this logical equation, multiple situations can arise: 

  • Trust can be earned but not granted. 
  • Trust can be granted but not earned. 
  • Trust can be earned and granted. 
  • Trust can be neither earned nor granted. 
Only one of these situations minimizes conflict. A combination of these situations can compound conflict. For example, if one member earns but isn’t given trust while another is given without earning, ugly conflict is sure to brew below the surface. Many workplaces have their share of empowered incompetents. Conflict in these environments is probably significantly higher than environments with equitable distribution of trust. Ideally, trust is granted until removed (temporarily) as a consequence. 

This is why at the heart of the Pied Piper Project, the redefining and instilling of Trust and Respect is placed back into a community to bring it back from the despair that has engulfed and festered for decades or more.




Policing alone cannot and will not work, it becomes a “them and us” situation and we have been there many, many times. The results are not pretty and costs are not just monetary, it is a widening gap of despair that cannot be fixed with a Band-Aid of hope from local government, community policing or the local inter-faith groups.

Our team is working hard to place these programs in the neighborhoods that have the chance to come back from the brink and give them a fresh start. Chicago is a prime example of “going to hell in a hand basket”. Politicians talk every day of the violence, mayor’s show their frustration and law enforcement know they cannot do it alone. 


Leadership arrives in different forms, pulling the community back costs money and right now, who has that spare dime? Believe it or not, the money is available and already owed, just waiting for collection by professionals who have a circle of life awaiting all. 

We just need to recoupeit, instill trust and respect and be on our way, just like a modern day Pied Piper. Yes, it is time to pay the Piper, before it is all taken from us and there is no chance for any of us!

In a television interview, a young man stated these words, "All I can say is the devil is busy right now. God is busy too, but the material stuff is getting to people," he said.

Diondre Sanders knows the street life well.

"I was robbing, I was stealing, selling drugs, doing all this," he said.

In October, he finished a two-year sentence for robbery. While in prison, he was stabbed and a month after getting out, he took a bullet in the neck during an argument. He said it's not the life he wants.

"I want to bury my parents, I don't want my parents to bury me," Sanders said. "I just don't want to die by the gun. I want to die of old age with my grandchildren around the bed."

Sanders said he's turned to God and family for support. He wants to get his GED and enroll in the Chef's Academy. Sharing some drawings he did recently, it's clear he also has an artistic gift.

Like Harrison, he believes keeping the peace can't be left to police alone.

"I think we need more programs going on, more to keep people occupied when they're out of school," he said, adding parents also have to be involved. "If parents aren't teaching (their kids) how to come up, who they going to go to? And if they don't have uncles and role models to look up to, nothing's going to change."

Harrison said what's become a community problem needs a community solution, one that includes outreach, mentoring, family counseling, jobs and safe havens for kids.

"We can't jail ourselves out of this," he said. "If we fill up the jails, we won't deter it... We need to force the politicians to come up with a compelling plan to address (teen violence)."

Sanders is hoping to do his part as well by speaking out.

"I think God is using me because I'm related to all this stuff going on in the neighborhoods and the environment, and if they see me making a change, they may be, like, 'If Diondre can make a change, I can make a change'."

“It is as if these people got our script for making the change and reading back our own words, we have proved this time and time again that help is here, employment is here, all with a purpose.” Stated Nick Ashton, CEO, CommSmart Global Group.



The message is clear, loud and precise, for a change, listen and be doers in life!


Call +1 (330) 366.6860






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