Jordan Peterson explains trust as a courageous act. The obvious problem with naive trust is that some (most?) trust is misplaced. And so one easy overcorrection is to become cynical.
You trust people because you’re courageous. It’s the same reason that you’re grateful. It’s a mark of courage, it’s a mark of commitment. You and I we’re going to make an agreement, and you’re full of snakes and so am I, and there’s lots of ways this can go sideways, but we’re going to put together an agreement. We’re going to articulate it out, we’re going try to find some that is of mutual benefit to both of us, we’re going to put our hands out and shake and we’re going to try to stick to that. And we’re going to risk trusting each other.
Interestingly, perhaps ironically, this is JP’s lead-in to an explanation of how we can trust in and improve institutions like the state, which I find a little naive, but perhaps I’m just not that courageous.
But I agree with his basic point. This is much like the trite advice for any relationship: if you love someone, you risk harm. But the alternative? No love? Far worse!