Defining Faith - We Need It
How many times have you heard someone say, “You gotta have faith.”
Or as our intrepid leader at EverythingBrevard, Tracy Stroderd, always says: “Trust the process.” Which means, have faith.
How do we define faith? The beauty of being human is that each of us is unique. We have the right to think differently, dress differently, and carry different philosophies through life.
Until those differences drive people to do harmful things.
The history of humanity is brutal — dominated by war as tribes and civilizations either tried to eradicate or convert those who thought differently. My grandparents fled such persecution as children and were brought to the U.S. by parents with little, but buoyed by hope.
In my lifetime, and during that of my parents’ generation, we’ve trended away from overt brutalities, but they still exist. I think it’s hard for some people to come to terms that humans are still capable of atrocities. And as a parent, I grapple each day with how much reality to reveal to a developing and curious mind.
My 7-year-old, Ella, repeatedly asks, “I want to watch the news. I think it’s interesting!”
Oh sweet girl, that’s because I don’t show you the war, the murder, the vile divisiveness of humanity. She knows all about COVID and the reasons behind quarantine. But not how it’s revealed the ugliest aspects of humanity.
Children are taught to have faith and believe in what you tell them. God, the tooth fairy, Santa. Life experience will unfold before each person at its own pace, and reveal a unique story. Faith continues to mold.
Faith and hope are tools for humanity. Religion is part of that. These tools are necessary for the survival of our species. Animals are driven by instinct — to survive and reproduce. Humans go beyond that, to needing a good quality of life, to feel like we make a difference and leave a legacy. But at the core, survival.
Faith is tricky, as no one can tell you what it looks like. I had a certain kind of faith until my first brother died at the age of 6. I was 13 and immediately started asking why and what it means. I wrote a paper shortly thereafter in middle school titled, “God: Creator of the Universe of Creation of Our Minds?” I’m not sure the answer mattered, because either way, the concept brings comfort and hope. Having faith in the positive potential of mankind is a driving force available to every single person on the planet.
At the beginning of the pandemic, it felt like the “we-are-in-this-together” attitude was going to help us all get through this. But patience is impatient. We need to keep peering through the cloudy waters and swim to the surface propelled by our faith. No one can tell you what it should look like, but know that humanity cannot exist without it.
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