What is trust? At first glance, trust is multifaceted: You trust your friends, you trust your doctor to treat you, you trust a bridge not to fall down. This gives rise to miscommunication. “Of course I trust you with my life - but I don’t trust you to remember to take the bins out tomorrow morning!”

Trust is when you give power to someone else and expect your wants to be fulfilled. I give my friends power over my life and expect them not to intentionally cause me harm. I give my doctor power by blindly consuming the drugs they give me; I expect the doctor has made the right choice and the drugs will help. I give the bridge power by walking over it, and I expect it won’t collapse beneath my feet.

Exactly what “want” you trust with someone is usually implicit. I trust my employees: to produce work of a high standard, but not to give me financial advice. I trust my employer: to reward my hard work, but not to place my interests above theirs. I trust my colleagues: to help me out Monday through Friday, but not on Saturday or Sunday.

When you have no choice but to trust someone, the power has already been given, and you can only cross your fingers that your values are withheld. I have no choice but to trust my government: they have almost absolute power over me, and I hope they improve our quality of life.

Trust can’t come without transfer of power, without transfer of control.