I am a skeptic. I am an atheist. I am scientific, faithless, grounded, requiring proof.
Or at least I am mostly.
I’ve always felt pangs of envy for the blind faith people are able to feel–that knowledge that something with no proof whatsoever is out there and the ability to use that knowledge to drive decisiveness. How much easier life must be when faith drives decisions. How much stronger must one feel when their entire heart and soul knows something that is beyond knowing. How safe and secure must one be to take even one step without doubt, to not have to weigh the possibilities.
Of course, faith isn’t as perfect as it seems. There’s still doubt, still inaction. There’s still regret and fear. There are still questions–prodding, niggling questions–often posed by people like me, designed to drive thought. And those people who walk through all of this and come out as strong or stronger seem mad. To ignore all the evidence, all the arguments, all the counterexamples and the non-believers is simply crazy. To believe with every emotional atom in one’s body despite the complete and total lack of proof is insane.
And I have been infected.
Or perhaps I’m just deluded.
My faith isn’t placed in a god, or in aliens, or in politics. It’s not given over to ethereal philosophical musings or over to an emotion like love or the possibility of the soul. It’s not even placed into the idea of free will, the farcical notion that we are somehow allowed control and a choice beyond our genetic programming and chemistry.
My faith is in you.
I believe in you. I believe that when push comes to shove, you will do the right thing. I believe that you can help make the world a better place, that you will reach out to others and help them, that you will assist in the perpetuation of the human race. I believe that as economies collapse, as governments rise and fall, as the world as we know it deteriorates and grows anew, you will help create a just society. You will rise to the occasion.
I believe you are the best person in the world.
It won’t be easy. It won’t be fun or pleasant. It won’t be fair. There are others out there who can’t see what you’re capable of, how great this world could be if they only worked with you. There are others out there who struggle with the same selfish notions you do and succumb. There are those who will fight you tooth and nail because of base emotions and fear. Even I, despite having the utmost faith in you, will make mistakes that make it harder for you.
But I have faith that you can overcome it all, even me. I have faith that if you can’t do it alone, you will go out and find like-minded people you can believe in. I have faith that all of you can work together and help remind each other that you’re working toward a better world. And when you have doubt, when it’s hard to keep going and when your belief in yourself begins to waver, I have faith that the people you have surrounded yourself with will pick you up and get you back on track, just as you would do for them.
Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe there aren’t like-minded individuals. Maybe there will be too much dissent, too many selfish people, too much concern with self-preservation and personal success; greed, hate, fear, all swirling in a bilious cauldron of societal dysfunction. Perhaps I’m deluded in believing in you, in your ability to find the right people and be in the right places at the right times. Perhaps you won’t have the willpower or support to overcome your own flaws. Perhaps, even being as incredibly strong as you are, it won’t be enough.
But I don’t need to worry about that.
Even if the world goes to hell and everything falls apart, I know that you and I will work together to rebuild better and stronger than before.
I have faith in you. And I thank you for it.