May 3 • 7M

Trust and our Imaginations

How Grief and Play help us Build Trust

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Hi, I'm Jonathan. We play Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition as we share stories around the table. - for blogs and articles on table top roleplaying games and homeschooling - for products and content for game masters
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There are few events in life in which trust is foundational to participate. Grief and Play are two of those times in which trust is necessary. They both ask us to abandon reason and logic, to express emotion and to submit yourself to relationships. Trust is a powerful force.

I sat across the hospital bed with a somber couple. They were informed their father qualified for hospice care. A list of companies were given for them to interview and I represented one of them.

Overall, it was a pleasant visit. I learned that they had lived her all of the life and shared how I had travelled. We talked about the quality of hospital food. We also realized that we both knew the social worker who worked this floor.

We make choices every day. But not every day do we choose a hospice team. Most of the time people simply defer to their doctor’s preference, but in this case, this couple wanted to interview and make an informed decision.

But why did they choose me? In truth, they didn’t know anything about our company besides what I relayed and didn’t meet anyone except for me.

The simple answer is that they trusted me. I believe that trust only grows in certain environments. Rather than garnering trust, an agent should simply cultivate a trustworthy environment. In this way, you foster a community of honesty, compassion and of course, trust.

Trust is a Drug. Or at least a hormone. It is a chemical released in your brain that leaves beside reason and logic and throws yourself at the mercy of another. To build relationships, we have to trust. If we don’t trust, the relationship remains surface and eventually something in our life tells us we are worthless and empty.

Trust is part of being Human. If we constantly surveyed our world with paranoia and fear, the results would show devolution of our brains. Although fear can help us exit a bad situation, when we constantly live like that, we risk isolation. Eventually, we trust no one, not even ourselves.

Trust is required for Relationships. Perhaps I realized this while sitting still in one of the saddest times in a person’s life. The hospice period has a way of highlighting what is important in life. I used to reassure people that “there is only one day in which hospice is about death; otherwise, hospice is about life for it shows you what is most important in your own.” An amount of trust can build over time between two people, a community leader or even a faceless organization. Once the rewards are granted for good behavior, we fall in line with hearty trust. Upon choosing a relationship, trust is simply required. In fact, I would say that if you relate to someone, you are already beginning to trust.

Playing is Trust. When a child shows her mother an array of toys lined up for her instruction, she roleplays as a proud teacher. She relates to her mother in this moment by sharing her imagination. She trusts her. When two boys gather sticks in the backyard and patrol the territory, keeping a lookout for monsters, they relate to one another in roleplay and yes, trust each other. Play is one of the activities that require the most amount of trust. Could that possibly be because of the fragility of our imaginations? I would say so, for as we age, our imaginations dwindle into the past and we do not play. However, when adults assemble for a day of play through tabletop roleplaying games, they are bringing their imaginations, their play and their trust to the table. It is truly an intimate event and also powerful at forging a community.

Trust is more than a chemical telling us to relax, more than knowing ourselves, it is also required for relating to each other. Our relationships deepen as we cultivate the trustworthy world. Moments where time stands still, like grief and play, help us bring our fragile imaginations to share with each other. Trust is powerful. May it serve us well as we move towards each other and continue our story.