As a youngster, I remember my dad included two dimes in every greeting card he gave my mom throughout their near half-century together.
And no doubt the symbolism reflected in those two dimes on her birthday —or their anniversary, on Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day every year etc. — in some way played a role in my penchant to study trust-building relationships throughout most of my leadership development career.
Although it has been more than a half-century ago I can still see the anticipation in my mom’s eyes as she cupped her left hand to catch the expected two dimes after opening the envelope and reliving the experience as if it were her first time.
The dimes would cascade into the palm of her hand and her face would always light up in sheer delight.
In gripping those dimes, she also reaffirmed her grasped on her marriage’s long running experience of commitment, trust, integrity and respect that cemented their near 50-year marriage before my dad passed away.
Those dimes rekindled a commitment of caring and sharing, respect and understanding that to my young eyes flared the proverbial fire in their love for each other.
Here’s an idea to build trust through long-term relationships. Reading time: 3:31
You’re a General leading in battle when you’re forced to surrender to a fever-maddening illness that threatens your life.
You are so sick that even your official physicians refuse to treat you, fearing they would be cited for negligence or even murder.
Compounding your predicament is a rumor that your rival is offering a reward to assassinate you.
Finally you solicit a doctor willing to treat you against the odds.
But then– just as you begin to take the medicine this doctor just prepared for you– you are presented an urgent note. The note says the medicine you are about to drink is poison. The note also warns that this doctor had been paid off by a rival General to assassinate you.
What do you do? You do what Alexander the Great did.
He scanned the note and immediately swallowed the medicine as cavalierly as if he were downing a drink in bar and while drinking handed the note to the doctor. The doctor also read the inflammatory note and hardly reacted to being called an ASSASSIN. He knew better.
And so did Alexander The Great, who would go on to conquer half the known world some 2,346 years ago.