Trust and Martin Luther King Day

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a United States holiday.

Much has been written about the holiday, and about King. I won’t attempt to add much, other than to highligh one quote from this complex man.

"Life’s most persistent question is, what are you doing for others?"

If there’s any one thing that predominantly accounts for low trust these days–particularly in business–it is the sense that everyone is in it for himself. This view has even been glorified in business in recent years. An ethicist recently commented to me that he was shocked at the recent bitterness of some in the financial professions. "They don’t even apologize for selfishness anymore," he said; "they feel it’s legitmate."

Trust is by nature a relationship. Part of that relationship is willingness to be of service to others. King’s quote also speaks to relationship: it’s as timely today as it ever was.

That’s what I’ll be thinking about today.