In the latest issue of Readers Digest, I came upon an article titled, “The Most Trusted People in America” and included in this journalistic piece is the names, pictures, and professions of the top “100 Most Trusted Americans”.  The magazine goes on to describe the word “Trust” as the following: “It’s cited on our currency, valued in our relationships, and vital to our faith.”  So, the magazine teamed up with a research firm, “The Wagner Group,” and supposedly polled 1000 Americans, to determine which individuals have earned their confidence.

The magazine threw out the top three voter recipients who were a.) your own doctor, b.) your own spiritual leader, and c.) your own child’s current teacher because they wanted to focus on public figures that everyone knew.

I am not going to list the top 100 personalities by name and/or rankings because I was more interested in why these people were considered to be most trustworthy.  Here is the breakdown by professions of most of the top 100 personalities:

Actors – 15

TV Personalities – 17

Journalists – 18

Movie Directors – 4

Sports Figures – 6

Supreme Court Justices – 9

Corporation CEO’s – 8

Nobel Prize Winners – 4

Politicians – 6

College Educators – 5

 

Now, I personally feel that this is nothing more than a popularity contest, but with the added twist of the word trust.  The word trust can mean many things to many different people.  Trust as defined in the dictionary is reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.  To me the word trust is one in which I would identify as that person who I would trust over anyone else.  Not some personality on TV, or in the movies, or on the daily news shows, but someone who I have a strong bond with, an established relationship with, or someone that I would trust with my most prized possessions up to and including my life.  My list of trusted people would be:

My spouse

My parents

My grandparents

My siblings

My best friends

My relatives

My doctors

My priest

Some of my former teachers

Some of my bosses

Some of my friends

Some of my co-workers

Some of my neighbors

 

I do not place a lot of trust in any person that I do not know personally and to form an opinion on someone’ s trustworthiness based on how they appear on TV, or on the movie screen, or in the news is flawed by the entire concept of the word trust.

All that I can say is would you trust any of these personalities to handle your financial affairs, raise your children, make all your decisions for you, and/or put your life in their hands.  I wouldn’t trust anyone of these strangers to look out for my best interests.  We as a society have moved away from the importance of family and looked for meaning in this fantasy world of mass media.  With the advent of “reality TV programming” we have lost touch with what should be important in our lives, like loved ones, family, and friends.

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