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Trust Issues

 The handshake has been a symbolic gesture of mutual admiration, commitment, and a universal sign of trust for hundreds of years. Its origination can be traced to a 5th century sculpture depicting two soldiers shaking hands after a battle. Another theory is the handshake originated in the 9th century after Assyrian King Shalmaneser III shook hands with Babylonian King Marduk-zakir-shumi, sealing an alliance between their military groups.

Regardless of when or where it began, shaking hands became a staple in American society until March of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S. As if public trust wasn't already being tested, this served to further erode the level of confidence among people. It is well documented that there is a direct correlation between touching and building trust. A recent study outlines how touching causes the body to release neuropeptide oxytocin, which increases our ability to put our faith in others.

Public trust has always been questioned and tested, as is indicated by the famous quote, "Trust but verify," which President Ronald Reagan used in talks with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986. At the time, the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty was being negotiated between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. involving the elimination of various missiles. There is a long history of broken promises between our two countries, so words and handshakes would not suffice — Reagan demanded tangible evidence.

More recently, in 2009, Bernie Madoff was convicted of conducting the largest Ponzi scheme in history, bilking thousands of investors out of nearly $64.8 billion. According to a recent study, the public's lack of trust in corporations, the financial world, and the government has fallen to historic lows of around 25%, which is roughly three points lower than during the Watergate scandal of the 1970s.

Like many others, the only way I can stay relatively organized is to schedule everything on a daily calendar. With six different people regularly adding appointments, it's easy to overlook or even miss one of the commitments that have been made to others. The good news is that God knows how vitally important trust is — it is included 186 times in the Bible. He doesn't need a day planner to keep his appointments, and he has been/is 100% trustworthy in the past, the present, and forever.

In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law a bill requiring the inscription "In God We Trust" to appear on all paper and coin currency. The bill was introduced by Rep. Charles E. Bennett of Florida as a reminder that America was founded in a spiritual atmosphere and with a firm trust in God.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight," Proverbs 3:5-6.
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