It is typical in business circles and otherwise to verify cash when someone drops it in your hands. This is how we behave in Nigeria and I have seen the same behaviour in other nearby cultures. It is not an issue of whether you trust the giver or not, it is simply for the avoidance of doubt.¬† Well, at least that is my interpretation. In certain cases, we actually do not trust the person or do not want to risk trusting the at the expense of possible loss. Come to think about it, you would be embarrassed to call your trusted friend back some two hours after he gave you money just to tall him the money wasn’t complete. It it better to verify there and then.

In some cultures however, counting money when it is given to you is an explicit sign of distrust. I witnessed a Zimbabwean hand over a large amount of money to a South African Chauffeur and the gentlemen clasped his fist tightly, his eyes fixed on the givers face rather than on the money he had just collected! I later asked the Zimbabwean why he didn’t count the money that was when I learnt it was rude to count money given to you. Trust is a culture¬† in those parts.

Fast forward. We find in our experience that it is not a very wise thing to do business on the basis of trust alone. Ideally, trust should be a fundamental value that supports every relationship but we find that those who choose to deal based on trust in certain societies simply find themselves on the receiving end of the moral and ethical failures of normal human beings. Have you ever found yourself on the receiving end or are you always extra careful in your business deals even with close friends?