In God We Trust ! (summer 2018)

In God we trust. Period! Together, these four words have some awesome power. Singularly, they still pack a mighty punch. Our founding Fathers thought enough about this phrase that it was, and still is minted on all our coins, printed on all our bills. We see it every day. We see it so often that we often don’t really see it or think about it. Go ahead, dig some bills out of your pocket, dredge up a few coins. You don’t have to look very hard. It’s there. “In God we trust” on the front of every coin, on the back of every bill. Look at it, think about it. We often take our freedoms for granted. Our freedom really comes from TRUST. Our trust in God doing every day chores, our trust in God while making decisions of national importance, or at least it should! We have to trust our law makers, our decision makers, our leaders. They, in turn, must trust their advisors. I don’t want to start some nasty debate of keeping religion separate from politics, or what religion I follow, or about religion at all. I have to think that no matter what church you go to, we all believe in the same God! Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Christion Reformed, Jehovah’s Witness and others, all believe in God. Other details of worship and beliefs probably differ, but God is the common denominator. I think our Founding Fathers believed this too, and they knew that this one, single phrase could bind us all together. In God we trust! Our trust in fellow man seems to be available in different degrees. When I put money in the bank, I trust it will be available when I want to withdraw it. To gain our trust, the bank (actually the government) guarantees our deposits up to one quarter million dollars! When I buy meat from the Co-op, I trust it will be fresh and of good quality. I trust the employees and the management of the Co-op. They don’t have any fancy government backed guarantee, but I trust them, and I am certain that if I brought a problem to their attention, they would offer a satisfactory solution. I have dealt with this store for over 50 years and the few times I’ve had an issue, it was resolved quickly. I trust the Co-op store. I have sold a few things on the internet; Facebook and Craigslist. The buyer has to trust me that the product he is buying is actually the way I have described it. I have to trust him that his method of payment is true and just. It takes a lot of trust to do business over the internet. Some internet companies, like E-bay will protect the buyer if the product is not up to standards. This will increase the trust factor for the buyer, he can return the product and demand his money back. This doesn’t always work so well for the seller. I once heard a story where a new chainsaw was sold for $50.00. The buyer fueled it up to try it. It was not as powerful as he had hoped and demanded his money back. Well now the chainsaw became a hazardous shipment because of the fuel in the tank, in the lines, in the carburetor. The return shipping would be more than the saw was worth. The sad truth for the seller was the buyer ended up with a free chainsaw. The trust factor fell apart on this deal. Human nature being what it is, we tend to trust each other. I would like to think that people don’t often lie to me. I take them for their word. I rely on my advisors, who are often more skeptical than I, to smell out a lie. It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally I will take precautions to protect myself in case the person is not trustworthy. Some professions, like law officers, are trained to question everything. Obviously, this training is because of the clients they generally work with. I once had to endure a tough line of questioning when going through Customs in The Netherlands. I was travelling to Paris and first landed in Amsterdam. Being the Port of entry, we had to endure the machine gun barrage of questions coming from the incredibly tall, well presented, female Dutch Customs Agent. “Where did you buy your tickets? (it was a tour package, I don’t know) “How did you pay for your tickets? What credit card did you use? (It was six months ago, for Pete’s sake, I don’t remember) “What Hotel are you staying at? (Again, it’s a tour. I don’t know, I just follow the guide!) “Are you carrying illegal drugs or large amounts of cash? (You gotta be kidding me!) I was pleasantly surprised when the handcuffs remained tucked into her belt and I was told to proceed! Jeeze, I think I got ALL the questions wrong, but she trusted me anyway and let me pass. When travelling abroad, I feel very vulnerable and by necessity have to over-extend the trust factor. Often having a language barrier, I must trust the cab driver will actually bring me to the hotel on the match book cover that I handed to him. And I have to trust that the address on the match book cover is actually the hotel that I’m staying at (I forgot to double check before leaving, I just trusted that it was right.) Not all that familiar with the local currency, I need to trust that I am getting a fair exchange for my dollars, and I need to trust that I am getting charged the right price and getting the right change. Sometimes my head spins while I’m looking at a handful of unfamiliar coins, trying to count it all out. Screw it! I dig out the largest bill I have and lay it on the counter, I take whatever change is handed to me and stuff it in my pocket and move on. I trust him! I have travelled to Mexico a few times and always seem to have a few Peso notes hanging around. Before a trip this spring, I rounded up all the Peso notes I had, one was quite different. It looked older than the rest, but it was a Dos Mil Peso note, 2000 Pesos! At the current exchange it should work out to about $180 US. While paying for a day trip while in Mexico, I whipped out my Dos Mil Peso note and laid it on the counter. The clerk looked at it quite quizzically and called over another clerk, possibly the manager. They both scrutinized the bill (It may have had ‘In God we trust’ printed on it, but then I don’t read Spanish very well) and finally the manager looks at me and says “Senior, do you know what you have here?” Remember, I said this was older looking than the rest? I became hopeful that it may be worth even more! “Senior, this is 2000 Viejo Peso (old money) printed in 1988, it might be worth two cents American! Nuevo Peso is not made in Dos Mil Peso. This is a souvenir; do you mind if I keep it?” A quick memory scan let me remember when the Nuevo Peso was introduced in the early ‘90s the decimal point floated quite a few places to the left to compensate for the sagging Mexican economy. I trusted him, and he proudly tacked it over the cash register. We all had a good laugh as I laid out a stack of 100 Peso notes (about $9.00 US each) to pay for my trip. In closing I want to thank all of you for the trust you have instilled in me and my crew. Without your trust, my business could not have grown and flourished like it has over the past forty years. Without your trust, I could not have had my children get the education that they have. Without your trust, I could not have the house I live in and the food on my table. For all of that trust, I thank you…

Written by tompiippo

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