Last year I used gratitude as my theme, but what is my choice this year?
I chose gratitude for 2020 before the global pandemic really kicked into high gear, but there were still plenty of things to be grateful for and continuing into 2021. However, my theme (or word) for this year is something I think we’ve lost a little in society with one another and something I hope we can gain back more of…faith.
I think we are going to need a lot of faith in humanity to get us through 2021, and much faith needs nurturing or restoring. Just so we are clear, I’m not necessarily referring to religious faith here (though if you do have faith in a transcendent deity all good and well), but more a universal faith in your fellow human beings.
I talked about in a previous post about how I have observed a rise in anger, frustration, hostility and incivility amongst society. I think this is related to a lack of faith in our fellow beings, institutions, media, leaders/politicians all to do the right thing.
Commonality, confidence and competency are required characteristics in order to have faith in humanity. Faith is reciprocal and doesn’t really work unless mutually agreed upon.
I’m not asking for blind faith (a critical mind and healthy scepticism is required and not everyone will be worthy of your love and respect), but a cautiously optimistic approach.
It is still, however, an uphill fight against COVID-19, environmental degradation and numerous human rights violations around the world, but we must continue to have faith that we will do the right thing, foster trust and compassion and encourage others of a better future together.
Human beings are more similar than they are dissimilar, but it’s in the differences where we need the most faith in one another. Understanding and acceptance/tolerance of people’s differences goes a long way in communicating faith and receiving it back.
So far I’ve talked a lot about faith in things other than yourself, but one must still cultivate that faith in themselves in order to pursue a life conducive of goodness not only to yourself, but our family, friends and wider community.
We are, by nature, flawed beings, and we must firstly accept that we are flawed and then believe that we can work towards correcting said flaws (a continual process) and that this process is worth doing so. The continual improvement of your character is fundamental to a noble life.
The architect character in the matrix series said: “Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion that is both the sum of your greatest strength and your greatest weakness.”, but I prefer the Andy Dufresne (The Shawshank Redemption) approach to hope: “Hope is a good thing, maybe even the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” All we got to do is keep the faith, even if it requires a bit of rebuilding, effort and uncertainty.