Can you remember the last thing that restored your faith in humanity? Was it when a stranger went out of their way to help you? Maybe it was watching how quickly people run to the aid of those in disaster areas?
Ok, now what about the last thing that made you lose faith in humanity? Was it when your wallet got stolen? Maybe a story on child abuse or the most recent terrorist attack?
Where do you stand on humanity right now?
If you're currently enveloped in the warm fuzzy "faith in humanity restored" feeling, let me know how you feel after you read THIS. Anyone with two thumbs and a heartbeat knows there are plenty of other horrifying things happening every day. I don't think I need to link to any more.
So, let me ask the question again. Where do you stand on humanity? If your stance on humanity is swayed by whatever story you heard most recently, you're doing it wrong.
What Is Faith?
A lot of people confuse faith with hope. It's close, but hope is the precursor to faith. Hope is merely a thought or a feeling. You can choose to leave it at that and hope for a better world while you sit on your couch watching the news -- OR -- you can turn that key of hope in the ignition of the car of faith and do something about it (cheesy dumb metaphor I know but it works and I'm sticking with it). Faith is a principle of action. Without action, there is no faith. We need to have continued faith in humanity. Without it we're pretty much screwed.
I like to think about this in a religious sense. If we were only required to have faith in Christ when good things are happening to us, what is the point of faith? Faith is something that must be constant, even if only a sliver. Faith is found in people who are strong, people who understand that there will be struggle but don't stop pushing forward. Maybe you get a little down. Maybe your faith wavers a little. That's fine! That is good and natural. That means you're human. Just don't lose that faith.
You don't get strong, unwavering faith overnight. It's a process. And that's exactly why many people don't have it. They want it now, with no effort, and if they can't have it now, they look for easier alternatives. I hate to break it to you, but nothing easy is ever worth pursuing.
Keeping The Faith
First off, let me just say, stop losing faith in humanity!
The only way humanity will stay strong is if everyone works on this faith AKA the hope for a better world coupled with the individual action of each person to make that hope a reality. You might think little ol' you doing something good will never change a world of seven billion full of evil. Maybe you're right. But if you even hoped, the teeny tiniest hope that it could be possible, why wouldn't you at least try? Not doing anything about it sure isn't helping, what do you have to lose?
Have you forgotten that acts of good are inspiring? Remember those inspiring stories and videos of people doing good that gave you warm fuzzies? Did they not make you want to be a better person? Those are people like you and I who have faith in humanity and did something about it. You have the ability to have that same effect on people.
Believe In Good
There will always be good in the world as long as you are putting it there. Amidst all the good and bad out there, you always have a choice on which to put your focus. If you're not sure which one to focus on, I'll give you a hint: It starts with "g" and rhymes with wood.
Try it. Watch what happens. I bet you'll be thoroughly surprised at how much more good you notice is in the world. It's like when you're car shopping and all of a sudden every drive to the store you see the two cars you're deciding between everywhere. That's not some crazy coincidence. It's all about where your focus is.
This doesn't mean you ignore the bad things that are happening in the world. This means you acknowledge that evil exists but as a result of focusing on the good, your thoughts become centered on what you can do to help alleviate the suffering of others, instead of allowing hatred for humanity to fill your heart while you sit behind your computer screen pointing your finger at the world.
It's your choice. Choose good.