The word Ubiquitous means “everywhere at the same time.” It comes from the Latin root ubiq, which means everywhere. It was originally a theological expression used to describe the omnipresence of Christ.
I maintain that trust is ubiquitous, because it is all around us every day, like the air we breathe.
Trust is manifest in all aspects of life, not just in our relations with other people. We normally think of trust as between our self and other people, but consider any product that you use and recognize that you have a relationship of trust to some degree, or you would not use it.
In the pills you take
For example, you cannot take an aspirin if you do not trust the company that made it and the store that sold it to you.
In the car you drive
When you get in your car in the morning and turn on the ignition, there are thousands of explosions going on within the engine, but you are not thinking about that unless the “check engine” light comes on. When you come to a red light you step on the brake and the car stops. The only time you think about it is when the brakes squeak or otherwise let you know they need attention.
In your personal routines
You walk into the bathroom in the morning and flip the switch. The lights go on. You turn on the spigot and both hot and cold water come out. You turn on the TV and the news comes on. You just expect these things to work, so there is no recognition of anything going on unless for some reason the lights do not go on.
You pour yourself some cereal and get out the milk. You are not conscious of any trust validation going on. You just expect things to be OK unless you neglected to check the dating on the carton of milk.
On your way to your destination
You drive along and follow the traffic rules. You have no worry that other people will fail to follow the rules (at least most of the time).
You drive over a bridge without worrying about it falling into the river (except there are probably some bridges where you should worry, at least a little bit.)
Trust is ubiquitous
I contend that by the time you have yourself up and going in the morning, you have experienced trust several hundred times, but you don’t think about it unless there is some kind of failure. Trust is all around us every single day, but in our conscious thoughts it is the trust we have between individuals that draws nearly all of our attention.
Here is a link to a three-minute video on this topic.
Bob Whipple, MBA, CPLP, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations