I used to teach all of my employees the concept of a Trust Bank. A Trust Bank is just like an institution that holds your money, and you can make deposits and withdraws in a variety of ways. The goal is to keep your Trust Account full at all times, and you do so by making regular deposits.
The first bank account I opened was with Harris Bank in Woodridge, IL. I was seven. I got a toaster for opening a new account (this was in the day when a broken toaster warranted a trip to a repair shop instead of a discount outlet. Any appliance that broke, even something like a toaster, could be repaired much more cheaply than it could be replaced).
Anyway, I put my money in my account. So we’re clear: the money was MINE, the bank merely held it for me. However, it wasn’t easy to do anything with that money. First, the bank was located across a busy road, 75th Street, and when I ran across the highway I became the frog in a large-scale game of Frogger. Second, the bank had short hours, and I couldn’t always get to the bank when I needed cash. Finally, every transaction involved filling out a deposit or withdraw slip, and the only signature that unlocked MY money was a co-signature from my mom or dad’s. Curses!
As I got older, though, these limitations disappeared. Instead of running across the street, I drove. Instead of hoping to catch the bank open, I hit the ATM or used on-line banking. And I’m finally old enough to sign my own slips without needing permission from my parents to touch my money.
This is how the Trust Bank works, too. Think back to when you were a child. You were under constant supervision from an adult, likely a parent or two. You could make deposits and withdraws in your Trust Fund by either doing what you said you’d do (a deposit), or by not living up to your word (a withdraw). And when you were a child, every trust transaction could be confirmed with direct line-of-sight.
“Did you have a dry night, buddy?” a dad asks his toddler in the morning.
“Yeppers!” his boy nods with a smile.
Dad does a quick check and finds that his son is completely dry.
“Nice job, buddy!”
Dad does a quick check and finds the boy, his undies and his bed soaked.
“Um, let’s talk about what the word dry means…”
As the boy grows up, he has more opportunities to make Trust Bank deposits and withdraws, many of them remotely. He now has a phone, email, the ability to text. He can tell truths and lies without having to show up. If he makes enough deposits in his Trust Bank, he will seen and respected as a man of truth.
Here’s the catch: Trust is built and maintained with a lifetime of deposits. Truth truth truth truth truth truth. I might be able to guess that the next word in the series is going to be truth again, because the pattern has been firmly established. But if your pattern is truth truth truth truth lie truth, you can understand how that one withdraw called a LIE cashed in your Trust Fund.
Trust is built and maintained with a lifetime of deposits in truthfulness; trust is cashed out, the balance depleted, with one large withdraw. And then, you must begin building your account again…not with a zero balance, but from a starting position of debt. Get overdrawn too many times, you’ll find that you have zero credit. Not even a dog will wag its tail around you.
What’s in your Trust Bank? Are you known for the predictability of your deposits? Or are you known for making sudden, steep withdraws that make you untrustworthy to others?