Faith

by mkriegh

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street

I have been thinking a lot about faith lately. Largely because I am being presented with a new view of it by Sharon Salzberg in books like Faith and Lovingkindness.

It has occurred  to me that it is impossible to live without faith of some kind. We need to have faith that the sun will come up in the morning and set at night. We need to have faith that the car we climb into and drive will get us safely to our destination if we do our part. We need to have faith that our fellow drivers will do their part to keep us all safe. We need to have faith that our friends and neighbors are good people who we can trust not to take advantage of us. We need to have faith in our doctors, our lawyers and our politicians. We need to have faith in the Banks we bank at and in the financial system as a whole.

Without faith we would not be able to buy a house. Without faith we would not be able to get married. Without faith we would struggle to get up in the morning and leave our homes. Without faith we would live in constant fear of everything and everyone around us. Without faith, we would adopt an utterly defensive stance that would make human relationships all but impossible. Without faith we would be alone in our desolation and sequestered within whatever we could muster as a fortress.

The truth is, there is nothing that we have faith in that is not capable of disappointing us. Still, faith is possible because most of the time, what or who we have faith in does not disappoint us.

As I think about the Occupy Wall Street protestors in Zuccotti Park it occurs to me that the main issue is that so many of us have lost faith that the system we are involved in is fair. We have lost faith that hard work and a little luck, but mostly hard work, can give us a secure and happy life. We have lost faith that our children will be better off than we are. We have lost faith in our elected officials who bicker in the most demeaning ways and who we believe are more beholding to Wall Street and the 1%, than to the 99%.

I am under no illusion that there was ever a time that wealth and the power it generates did not have the advantage. But the decks are increasingly stacked against the majority of us. And yet, there is faith in Zuccotti park. There is faith that if we, the 99%, stand up and say something about it, we can restore some fairness and balance to the system and have faith in it once again.

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