People; Placing Your Faith in Others

Faith and ReasonOnce upon a time… sounds good in fairy tales. However, reality is less than kind when many people focus on selfishness rather than selflessness.

It is said that most people leave a particular religion or another because ‘someone’ hurt their feelings. Imagine. Some unfeeling person, or overly sensitive person caused another to leave a church. (?)  Really?

Is ‘Faith’ something so fragile that it can be compromised by someone else’s commentary, an embarrassing situation, or someones failure to perform some act of kindness? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then maybe our concept of faith is flawed. Our concept of who we truly are and what we factually believe is circumspect. In fact, it might be said that our warped sense of reality is centered on the principle that; “God wouldn’t let that happen to me, so it must be someone else’s fault.” Usually followed by picking out someone else to blame.

Years ago, I was working in church as a Young Men’s leader. I was bothered by a certain busy-body that often gossiped of others. I embarked on a mission to teach her a lesson. Not that it was my responsibility to do so – I just got tired of her constant belittling of others. And, no amount of reasoning would dissuade her from her quest.

Therefore, I asked to meet with her privately one day. Only after stressing that what I was about to tell her would go no further and would be held in complete confidence and receiving her agreement did I confide in her. I told her that I was having an affair with the Young Women’s leader.

Not less than an hour later, the entire congregation had been informed of my transgression. She was called into the Bishop’s office and asked if she had stated this. In smug satisfaction, feigning concern, she stated that she had been informed by me of the situation, and that something should be done about my transgression. The Bishop was not amused. He stated; “Well, I sure hope they are having an affair – they are married to each other.”

So much for smuggery.

When people set out to defame one person or another, they invariably demonstrate to others that they cannot themselves be trusted. For if their one time allegiance can be turned for the sake of hard feelings, then the truth of their fealty is nullified. If they speak ill of one person or another, then your turn will, one day, be at hand.

How then to we find those that are not so intent on self-aggrandizement? How do we find ‘true friends’ to assist us?

How about we stop looking. Stop trying to please others. Just be ourselves and live the life we have before us. That means permitting those who will accept you as you are. Not permitting those who would ‘despitefully use you’ to take hold in the pattern and path you have chosen for yourself.

We can be told that ‘life’ gets in the way of happiness. And, while I have written in this vein of thinking prior, it bears repeating; “Your pursuit of the ‘Way’ must be with humility, and indifference to pain or pleasure.” That reflects the philosophical side of my Song Moo Kwan® martial arts training. However, much more important to remember is the old adage; “He who is carried on another’s back does not appreciate how far the town is.” (African proverb).

This truly represents the difference between selfishness and selflessness.

If we recognize the changes that are present in the positive choices we make, then we can appreciate how different our lives can become – even without effort. “Of all the ‘attitudes’ we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing. (Zig Zigler)

Without devoting the entire page to philosophical proverbs, let’s address, plain and simple, the key to faith and friendship:  Those who truly care about you remain through thick and thin. They realize that you are as human as they. They also realize that ‘just because someone says something negative about you’ it isn’t necessarily true. And they will support you when you must find yourself responsible enough to admit mistakes made by those under your care and presumed control.

Hypocrites find no wrong in their own actions, while loudly condemning the acts (and sometimes private failing) of others.  Like the woman I charged with the secret of having an affair with my own wife (though not telling her it was my wife); Had she not immediately run to tell others, she might have realized the truth.

Back to faith. People have often asked me if I would return to the LDS Church? I never left. They ask me whether I would choose another because of the failings of a few? Those whose harsh words against me (whether presumed to have foundation or not) caused much harm. The answer is still, ‘No!’ You see, faith is an all the time thing. If you have learned to live your life in accord with certain principles (making those decisions prior to the happenings of ‘life’) then there are no decisions to make in later life. Those who stand against you will not be justified.

Nor their misrepresentation of who they want you to think they are when tough times are apparent. They must stand in the light while keeping the truth safely hidden away. However, at all times, the truth is the truth. No amount of slander and libel can change that fact.

To those that presume to preach to the rest of us of their character and ultimate superiority; Checkmate, my friends. Checkmate!