Monday, February 23, 2009

A Lack of Faith

I'm beginning to worry that we're losing faith in everything, especially ourselves. From politics to the economy to culture and religion, nobody seems willing to trust anyone anymore.

The flagging economy and the falling stock market has a basis in tangible matters, but most of it is just a massive lack of faith in the system and its ability to correct itself. Recently on another blog, people were discussing a possible local criminal case and someone commented "forget about it: it's Mississippi", as if it were a forgone conclusion that justice can't be done here.

They say it started with the Kennedy assignation, then the Johnson era credibility gap and finally Watergate just blew everything out of the water. Whatever "innocent" trust we ever had in ourselves is just gone now. I think this might fuel a lot of the anger and inflexibility between the parties. Nobody is willing to trust the "other guys" to be anything but corrupt.

If I could do one thing for this country, it would be to get people to believe in each other again. "The other guy" acts an awful lot like you would in the same situation, and that's really all you need to know to understand him. Yes, there are people who abuse the system, but most of them get caught and the system always works to correct itself. Eventually, the system flushed out even "untouchables" like Scruggs and Abramoff and corrected itself.

Life's never been simple or easy, but even though the system breaks down from time to time, it always pulls itself back together because it's our nature to make things work and do the right thing. Things have been tough for a while now and they're liable to be tough for a while longer, but we will right ourselves again and we will do it because, in the end, we can trust each other: we have to.

You don't have to believe in God to understand what Jesus meant when he said "consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin...yet even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these..."

Things will fall into their right place because they are meant to; that's how the system works. Certainly we have to be vigilant and mindful of what we are doing, but we can do that, we do it every day.

Have faith in God, but have faith in each other too because we are all just lilies of the field.

2 comments:

Nicole Bradshaw said...

You are right, but how do we fix it? Unless a significant part of the population is willing to take a chance (and maybe - definitely?- be willing to be suckered) do you think it can happen?

A. Boyd C. said...

It sounds awful, but I think you have to be willing to get suckered occasionally and trust that's the exception and not the rule.

The alternative is to hold everybody and everything up to such scrutiny that you'll never feel safe no matter where you are.

I think that's what it means to be willing to turn the other cheek.