Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Faith in Humanity

"Faith in humanity restored!"

This is going to make me sound like an awful curmudgeon, but the "faith in humanity" cliche drives me crazy. Let me explain.

Faith in humanity is a serious deal. Faith in humanity is what allows us to reach our human potential and build what Vincent Harding calls "the beloved community." But faith in humanity is of little worth if it is nothing more than an aesthetic cliche. 

I don't want to claim that people who proclaim their faith in humanity restored in response to touching videos are being superficial, but I do worry about that possibility. I worry that faith and humanity will become (or has already become) something that is not cultivated and enduring, but something that happens sporadically, at random moments of purity. A faith that only arises in the best moments is worth precious little. We need a faith in humanity that endures in the presence of the violence that so constantly surrounds us. Sporadic faith feels nice, but enduring faith makes changes. 

We need to restore, and keep, our faith in humanity.

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