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Monday, December 1, 2008

Advent Blog: Day 1~ Faith


For some faith is an easy find. For others it is easily lost. We can have faith in many things: religion, people, beliefs, ourselves...

What makes it so easy for some to believe? I have found as I have gotten older that my faith in many things has wavered. Now, I'm not knocking religion. Heck, yours truly used to be the youth group president... (scared yet?)... but I have some serious issues with organized religions. I find them very judgemental and hypocritical. WWJD? Well, I think Jesus would befriend all these groups that churches tend to ostracize. Look at the disciples-- talk about a motley crew... I am certainly not trying to stir up religious debate with anyone. I respect that others have different opinions from me, and I would hope that others will respect my views. (As an aside, I think that is another issue with organized religion: intolerance)

Faith in others can be tricky. People make mistakes. Thus people have a way of letting us down-- sometimes repeatedly. Those with faith keep giving chances... but is that faith? Blind faith? Stupid faith? Faith Hill? I don't know. I never claimed to have answers. What I do know, as an educator, is that life is all about learning. We never stop learning. And how do we learn? Well, often by making mistakes. So, perhaps during the holiday season you can try to be extra understanding of people close to you when they screw up-- have more faith-- and give them a second (third, fourth, etc...) chance.

Faith in our beliefs is a bit easier I guess. I mean, they ARE our beliefs because we have faith in them, right? What are some things we believe? Lately I have talked a lot about fate-- which is something I believe in. Some people believe that the world is inherently good, while others that it is evil. I like to try to remain positive in my beliefs-- even though hard times can get even the peppiest of cheerleaders down and out. In light of the recent economic times, I think it is important to have faith... be positive... and do everything we can to make things better. I am no Ritchie Rich-- but I prefer to try to help those around me less fortunate during these times. I believe everyone deserves some happiness in life-- especially kids.

Oh my, I am off on a tangent... I apologize. Today was snowy-- which adds to the 5th grade ADD-- so I will blame it on that.

OK, now the biggie... faith in OURSELVES! Why is this so damn hard? Even the cocky are often just using that as a defense mechanism. Again, faith in ME is something that has gotten stronger as I have gotten older. Maybe I just don't care so much anymore-- esp about what others think. And isn't that what brings our SELF esteem down a lot? Worrying about what OTHERS think of us. I watch pre-teens develop this "condition" every day at work. It's funny to me that when we are YOUNG-- we don't care... and apparently, as we get older, we don't care as MUCH... but somewhere there in the middle-- teen years- college... we are often pre-occupied with others' opinions, instead of our own.

Wow. This is WAY longer and more rambling than I had intended. So... to sum it up... Faith-- a key word during the holiday season-- is quite complicated. I think the other piece to FAITH is to BELIEVE-- which happens to be one of my favorite words.

So during this blessed season, have faith. Faith in religion, if you choose. Have faith in others-- try to see and focus on the positive. Keep faith in your beliefs-- even during tough times. And perhaps most importantly, have faith in YOURSELF.

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