What are trust and distrust?

If there’s an important question on your mind, try asking a child about it.

On Thursdays I teach a creative writing workshop in the afterschool for third and fourth graders. Yesterday I felt like discussing and working on trust and distrust. 

I started with a physical exercise that I learnt in a contemporary dance workshop four years ago. We formed a circle and took turns being inside the circle, eyes closed, the others placing their hands softly on the arms, back, shoulders, head, chest and stomach of the person in the middle. Then the hands moved away and the person in the middle had to lean backwards, forwards, left and right, eyes still closed, offering their weight to the others and being supported by unknown hands, practicing trust and noticing how that feels. 

I then collected words on the board, describing our experiences. And each of us took time to write their own, personal, definitions of trust and distrust. 

I was impressed by two definitions and took them in my heart overnight. They helped me reach an important conclusion that brings me to the end of a major stage in my life. 

Here they are, translated from Romanian:

“Trust is a state of the human body on which friendship relies.”

“Distrust is a state of the body on which nothing relies.”