The courage to have faith
We live in incredibly cynical times. This is understandable. Our Earth is in danger, and our politicians dither, blinded by self-interest and opportunism.
The storms of war gather at every corner.
And the environment is nearing collapse.
Cynicism can be a refuge of the good-hearted amongst us who can see these things. But it is a temporary salve. It lays the way for self-fulfilling prophecies about the direction of our shared future.
The response to the grave problems of the day cannot be cynicism. We must instead look to faith.
Not faith in a particular god, or a particular religion.
Just a simple faith that the future can be changed, and improved.
This sounds easy, but it is not. Faith takes a lot of courage, because faith requires a blind trust. Trust is a dangerous things, because it exposes us to the possibility of a painful failure.
It takes courage to have faith that a positive vision can win in a world where access to essential resources, political power, social opportunities and basic peace of mind is hoarded by a tiny, privileged class.
It takes courage to have faith that our planetary death spiral--humanity's refusal to acknowledge grave environmental problems, to limit its carbon emissions, to clean up plastic, to take meaningful action to avert widescale species extinction--can be halted.
It takes courage to have faith that the dark forces of dictatorship and authoritarianism, stronger than ever before, can be tamed.
It takes courage to have faith that a small group of committed people, aligned by a shared vision of a positive future, can make a meaningful difference.
It is much easier to think that none of these things can actually happen; that our problems are what they are; that change is impossible.
But the future is what we make of it. The future is limited only by the boundaries of our present imagination.
Those of us alive at this time who want to fix the grave problems of the day must have the courage to imagine a better future, a better way, a better planet.
You must have faith that we can change the problems of our day. Have faith that we can transform a dark age into a Golden Age. Have faith that humanity can civilize itself. Have faith that a better world exists, and that we can build it.