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Family Talk: Building a family trust

Jim Priest
Jim Priest

Some people have a family trust. They went to a lawyer to create a legal document that would protect family assets. It’s great to have a family trust. But greater still to have trust in your family.

I heard someone say something recently that stuck like Velcro in my brain: “Trust is the basis of all good relationships.” It had the ring of truth that made me nod my head. But, quickly, I wondered what creates the trust that builds great relationships? There are a number of things, but here are three my parents taught me:

1. Reliability. You do what you say you’re going to do. You keep your promises. You come through when you’re needed. When you hold out your arms and say “Jump!” you’re there to catch me.

2. Honesty. Your word can be counted on. You don’t try to escape responsibility. You tell me the truth even when it hurts.

3. Consistency. You’re there when needed. Every time. You don’t float in and out of my life. I know I can count on you.

From seeing these practiced, I learned I could trust my parents. And by my practicing them, they learned to trust me.

Peter Buffet, the son of the wealthy businessman Warren Buffet, said this about trust:

The things that allowed me to feel safe and trusting as a kid had nothing to do with money or material advantages. It didn’t matter how big our house was; it mattered that there was love in it. It didn’t matter if our neighborhood was wealthy or otherwise; it mattered that neighbors talked to each other, looked out for one another. The kindnesses that allowed me to trust in people and in the basic goodness of the world could not be measured in dollars; they were paid for, rather, in hugs and ice-cream cones and help with homework.

I’ll bet Peter Buffet has a family trust. But better than that, he has trust in his family. You can, too. But, you must build it.

Jim Priest can be reached at okcpriest@yahoo.com.

Related Photos
<strong>Strong family relationships are built on consistency and trust. [METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION]</strong>

Strong family relationships are built on consistency and trust. [METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8aed5c7ee950df56f9b058a7c01e0985.jpg" alt="Photo - Strong family relationships are built on consistency and trust. [METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION] " title=" Strong family relationships are built on consistency and trust. [METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION] "><figcaption> Strong family relationships are built on consistency and trust. [METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-607b48fe0c18f8b47dfc00e81cb0c8e4.jpg" alt="Photo - Jim Priest " title=" Jim Priest "><figcaption> Jim Priest </figcaption></figure>
Jim Priest

Jim Priest is the CEO of Sunbeam Family Services, a 108-year-old nonprofit that provides a range of social services to support Oklahoma's most vulnerable people, including early childhood education, counseling, foster care and senior services. Jim... Read more ›

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