“Faith”

Having good people in your life is a treasure, recognizing who they are is a blessing and celebrating them is an honour.

Faith cover

What an horrific, hate-filled week this has been. I don’t think there have been, publicly at any rate, this many proud, belligerent and angry displays of the Nazi flag and the Heil-Hitler style salute since the fall of the Third Reich. Then there was the nighttime, nightmare parade of angry men, angry white men, carrying tiki-style torches and yelling racial epithets until they were hoarse. Had they been wearing the “glory suit” it might well have been a KKK lynching from back in the 1920’s when the Klan was at its peak of popularity. This, in a town with a population of less than fifty thousand souls, in the United States of America. “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.”

Faith 1

The Good, Version 1: Faith

From Charlottesville to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and from Las Ramblas to Cambrils angry men have displayed their hatred to the world. While not deluding myself about the severity of overt white supremacy, I am choosing tonight to focus on the good, of which there is an abundance in my life. In this blog post, which I hope will be the first in a series, I am writing about a friend – I am calling her “Faith” – who leads by example.

Learning to meditate, I was taught that only when I have clear intention will my practice improve and progress. Intention is a term that I always associate with Faith; everything she does – at home, with her family and friends, when she teaches, with her artwork and on social media – everything is the result of clear and noble intention. I admire this woman, respect her, like her a lot, love her dearly and aspire to be more like her.

❝A noble person does not do good because of willpower. She does it through a combination of, on the one hand, modesty about self, and, on the other hand, faith in a higher purpose, a higher meaning, in powers more potent than self-will.❞
[D. Brazier*]

Although penned by a Buddhist, this quote may well have been written about my dear friend, a Christian, who embodies these virtues and values in her day to day living and whose faith informs all aspects of her life. It is the source, I am sure, of her clear and noble intention and, while not all goodness originates in religion, in Faith’s case the two go hand-in-hand.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
[Hebrews 11:1, KJV]

Faith has mastered the art of social media activism. She has found her voice and uses it effectively. Her posts and shares reflect her commitment to human equality and social justice. From time to time they spark on-line conversation and Faith courageously and respectfully engages rigorously with naysayers spouting racist, misogynistic, xenophobic or homophobic ideas.

She. Is. Fearless.

At times like this, everyone needs to be emphatically clear about their beliefs; as as for Faith, her social media postings show unequivocally where she stands and invite – no, urge – readers to stand along side her. Faith is the human substance of things hoped for

Too many have objectively dismissed the revolting racism seen this week in Charlottesville as merely an American problem. Sadly, racism is alive and well here in Canada. Evidence, should it be necessary, is in the “WCAI Canada/CAP rally” organized in Vancouver and – in various provinces – the survival of The Ku Klux Klan, the Heritage Front and the Canadian Nationalist Party .

“We know Canada isn’t immune to racist violence & hate. We condemn it in all its forms & send support to the victims in Charlottesville.”
[Justin Trudeau, @justintrudeau]

Morally, every single one of us is responsible to identify, expose and condemn white supremacy wherever it is found no matter how uneasy a task this is for us, even if the offenders are friends, co-workers, neighbours and especially if they are family members.

My role model is Faith and when I feel uncomfortable taking a stand, I will think to myself, “what would Faith do” and hope I will have the courage to follow her lead.

In my world, amongst my friends and associates, Faith dominates my abundance of The Good.

Faith 2

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
[Hebrews 11:1, KJV]

’Til next time, y’all

*David Brazier is a British author and psychotherapist known for his writings on Zen Buddhism and psychotherapy.

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