George P. Shultz, a combat marine in World War II, died last week at 100. He was a university professor of economics unless his country called on him. President Eisenhower asked him to be his economic advisor. President Nixon asked him to be Secretary of Labor, Budget Manager and Treasury Secretary. President Reagan called on him to be Secretary of State. This past summer I watched an interview of George Shultz, made in 2016, as part of a subsequent compilation from a gathering of all the living US secretaries of state. On December 11, 2020, Secretary Shultz wrote an article that was published in the Washington Post titled, The 10 Most Important Things I’ve Learned About Trust Over My 100 Years. He begins the article this way:
Dec. 13 marks my turning 100 years young. I’ve learned much over that time, but looking back, I’m struck that there is one lesson I learned early and then relearned over and over: Trust is the coin of the realm. When trust was in the room, whatever room that was — the family room, the schoolroom, the locker room, the office room, the government room or the military room — good things happened. When trust was not in the room, good things did not happen. Everything else is details.
His article consists of 10 examples of trust across his life beginning with learning trust at home, at war, at MIT, though labor negotiations, race and political relations, and foreign relations. He concludes with number 10 when he writes:
“In God we trust.” Yes, and when we are at our best, we also trust in each other. Trust is fundamental, reciprocal and, ideally, pervasive. If it is present, anything is possible. If it is absent, nothing is possible. The best leaders trust their followers with the truth, and you know what happens as a result? Their followers trust them back. With that bond, they can do big, hard things together, changing the world for the better.
Trustworthiness is vital. I counsel couples who want to marry that there are four foundational pillars on which to build a marriage, a home or a life—Christ, love, commitment, and trust. If any pillar is forsaken, the marriage, home or life is in grave jeopardy.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Be trustworthy. And let’s experience the love and power of God together while apart.