I’ve been thinking an awful lot about things that people say and that people do. I’m not sure if I’m going to get up on my soap box yet or not… or if this is just going to be a random rambling rant (how’s that for Alliteration), but it has come about because I have been very contemplative.
Faith, Hope, and Love… it is in the Bible (1 Corinthians 13). It doesn’t say that any of these things that should only be directed at God. It doesn’t say that you should only have faith in some things and then only under certain circumstances. Doesn’t say (and the greatest is love) that you should only love some people and then only some of the time. Faith, hope and love… and the greatest is love. And NONE of these things are inherently Christian things. That is just kind of my frame of reference since I was raised in a Judeo-Christian society and have come into the globalness of the real world and how wonderful diversity is late in life.
The dictionary has some definitions…
faith noun (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith)
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
hope noun, verb, hoped, hop·ing.(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hope)
1. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: to give up hope.
2. a particular instance of this feeling: the hope of winning.
3. grounds for this feeling in a particular instance: There is little or no hope of his recovery.
4. a person or thing in which expectations are centered: The medicine was her last hope.
5. something that is hoped for: Her forgiveness is my constant hope.
love noun, verb, loved, lov·ing. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/love)
1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3. sexual passion or desire.
4. a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
5. (used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?
I have heard the phrase come out of the mouth of some perfectly rational people who you should only ever talk to people you have seen in person with your own two eyes. I work in IT. Some of the people I work with are on the other side of the planet. I have never seen them. I have never seen pictures of them. But that is different. Why? I have some wonderful friends that I have met because I went searching for support on one thing or another. They are amazing people. I am their support, they are mine. We have become friends. I have never seen them. But that is different. Why? Why is it different? I look at the person who looked at me quite seriously and said this stuff and I wonder… how can anyone live and hold these views. This came from someone who has been looked down upon by multiple cultures for not fitting in to that specific group, so knows how shallow and superficial that view is. Yet that is the honest opinion expressed.
Using this logic, I should never try to help anyone I don’t know personally.
There are people who I know personally I would cross the street to avoid. I KNOW them. I have a history with them. There are people I deal with because I have to and I would not trust them as far as I could throw them. Malevolence isn’t attributable only to the “them” in the world who aren’t “us”. I would sooner turn my back on some of the people who I have never actually had the privilege to touch than some of the ones I have had the pleasure of spending large amounts of time with. And the more I learn about some people, the less I could trust them… but that is okay-ish.
SO here I sit… The fog outside the window… the coffee by my side… thinking… people are people (thank you Dr Suess). I don’t have to turn over my banking information or my social security number to everyone I meet. I should do my homework on people. But just because there is evil in the world, I don’t have to turn into the kind of person who assumes that everyone is evil just because some people are evil.
I worry about my friends. I light candles and say prayers and try to learn about the differences in people and in lives and I try to make the world just a little bit smaller by not judging people before I know or before I have had a chance to know. I worry about my friends who have parents who don’t “get it” and who are feeling so alone that they don’t even know where they can turn any more. I think about my friends who hurt and who are afraid and who feel so very alone and I try to find even one small way of brightening the world. I am the weird one. I post and repost and forward. I write messages and try to bring smiles. And I do bring smiles. I even bring smiles to people I do know who don’t think I’m too terribly weird to be associated with.
I think I would rather live in my world where I have faith and hope and love. I won’t give you my passwords. I won’t give you my social security information. But I will give you a shoulder (physical or virtual) to cry on if you need one and I will continue being a Pollyanna. It may be my downfall in the end, but it makes my life much richer and much more entertaining while I’m living it.
What started this weird ass train of thought… a picture posted on facebook this morning about crazy people… the picture is here… and what I hunted down later is here….
Come on… join me. I think if each one of us touches just ONE or TWO lives and each of those one or two lives touch one or two more, eventually maybe we really can make the world a better place… one where people aren’t afraid of reaching out to their fellow humans on occasion and either offering help or asking for it. While there ARE people who will bite, not everyone fits that category.