I have long said that forgiveness is gift, trust is earned.
Sam, my Red-tailed Hawk, flew free in the orchard yesterday. So far, he has only flown in the back yard where his vision is blocked by our yard wall and the house and shop. Now he could see the horizon again. I wondered how he would do. He came quickly to the lure, a small leather packet that I tie meat to. He thought about flying to my gloved hand a bit longer, but always did so. He took his time looking around, but the trust we have been building since he came to live with me 10 days ago gets stronger with each interaction. He really likes the lure and has taken to attacking it as if it were prey. He’s not sure about my glove because once in a while I grab his jesses, and when he wants to jump to a perch he finds he cannot. There are sacrifices one makes for trust on both sides. He finds his mobility impeded sometimes, and I find my late afternoons committed to spending time with him.
Soon he and I will be out in the Burros Mountains. I will send him up to the top of a tree on the top of a ridge and the dogs and I will rummage around down below him trying to get something to run for him to chase. The hunting partnership will begin to form, and another level of trust will be forged. He will look to us to flush game for him, making hunting with us more efficient than on his own. He’s a practical kind of bird. If it works, he’ll do it again. If his human makes it work it’s worth trusting him.
What will it take for trust to become the common coin in society at large? In business? In government? Maybe it will be that practical sort of human being who can sacrifice for the sake of a relationship that benefits both parties, who will commit to building trust, first with friends and family, then with business associates, and finally in the person for whom that person votes.
There’s a crazy sort of wisdom in the Golden Rule.