Trust Cards

High School
Subject: Social studies
Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Preparation: Have class view "Full Circle Fund" (Tape 2, Leverage, Act 7, 22:40)

Trust is powerful leverage, but it's difficult to create. It can take years to earn trust, and it can be broken by a single thoughtless act.

Divide your class into four "lending circles," each with at least four members. Give each group six trust cards, which can be cashed in for favors from other members of the group, no questions asked. Each group has to decide what the favors can be. Will they be limited to small favors like holding a place for someone in the cafeteria line? Or will they honor large favors that may require hours of labor? How will the group divvy out the trust cards? Does each member get a card or earn a card? Will there be time limits on using the trust card? Do those who do a favor then earn the right to pick a card from the group's trust bank? Members of a group can save trust cards up for an occasion, but if they keep the cards out of circulation too long, the favors expire just as they would in real life.

As each group sorts out the lines of trust and discipline of the group, they will get a feel for the nature and operations of a lending circle.

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