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How Do We Believe in the Good in People?

Annmary Ibrahim

Posted on July 29, 2020 19:31

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The short answer is: we do not.

It is a fairly undisputed fact that 2020 sucks, this year has brought on horrors and health scares, and has shed an alarmingly bright light into the dark gaps in our country that no one wants to see. Through a global pandemic, we have seen selfishness put money over lives and turn mortality rates into pieces in political chess. Police brutality and systematic racism have been captured on screen and we watched as skin tone dictated a man's threat level.

Time and time again this year has felt like a giant nightmare where true colors of hate, negligence, and ignorance are revealed. Amidst the swirling of these colors, it feels almost impossible to hold out hope for something warmer and brighter, and so we ask ourselves, how do we believe in the good in people?

The short answer is we do not. We do not believe in the good in people. Belief is defined as "An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists." To believe something is to accept that it exists, but the obvious question remains, how can you accept something exists when you see little to no evidence of it? This may sound like it is slowly attacking religious belief systems; however, religion provides one of the best examples of this phenomenon.

In the book of James, chapter 2, the idea of faith is challenged. St. Paul the Apostle writes, "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?" Similarly, what profit does belief have for us, can belief save us? Once more, the short answer is no.

St. Paul continues writing, "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only… For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." Simply put, faith without deeds and acts supporting it is dead, like a body with no spirit. Whether you are religious or not, the logic can still be applied and appreciated. For us to just believe in the good in people without any deeds or acts supporting it, is dead.

We should not "accept that a statement is true or that something exists" when considering the good in people. Rather we should justify this belief with works. We should not only believe something exists, but we should also take it a step further and prove it exists. We believe in the good in people by being good people. Instead of relying on a heartwarming video that "totally restores my faith in humanity," we act according to what we want to see in humanity.

This, of course, is far easier said than done, it can be difficult and painful to be better than what is around you, but difficult does not translate into impossible. And so, we do the difficult, we accept that a statement -- "there is good in people" -- is true and exists, by being part of the reason it exists.

Annmary Ibrahim

Posted on July 29, 2020 19:31

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Source: NPR

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