Listening to the news in the car can be a hazardous affair. The airwaves are generally filled with headlines and stories about the negative and bad things people do and say to each other, at home and abroad, and the words and actions of these people are often rooted in faith. It's discouraging because you can argue about faith until the end of time. I know this because we have been arguing about it since the beginning of time...B.C. and A.D.
Think about the different kinds of faith: Christian, Muslim, Jewish are the most obvious, but then there are subsets too: absolute faith, bad faith, good faith, and who can forget the ever troublesome, blind faith.
I had a revelation as I was juggling my cell phone and coffee while changing the radio station and approaching a busy intersection and green light at a high rate of speed. People are so quick to damn and do harm to others in order to defend or promote their faith. Yet we rarely express an appreciation for the faith we have in each other. Faith in people like Garrett Morgan.
"Who is Garrett Morgan?" I did not know either, until I looked him up in the good book, Wikipedia.
According to Wikipedia, Mr. Morgan was born in Kentucky in 1877, and was the son of former slaves. He went on to live out his life in Cleveland, OH, as an inventor and community leader. I imagine he lived at a time when it would have been easy to be bitter or negative about the world that he lived in, but Mr. Morgan chose to be a problem solver, not a problem stewer. Mr. Morgan's life work made the world a better place, saved countless lives, and brought order to society. He invented hair care products, the first gas mask, and we still view one of his inventions as our guiding light and savior. We still look to the heavens to worship and obey his word (Photo Courtesy).
Mr. Morgan patented the very first traffic light in 1923. Think about how much faith is involved in the traffic light as we zoom under it in a hunk of steel and glass - faith that it will work properly and faith that others will obey it. It began to occur to me that there are lots of things we have faith in that we use and do every day - without thought or judgment - faith in things that people made or ideas they have put forth.
I used to think that faith was the problem with the world. But it has occurred to me that if we want to fix real problems with real solutions it is time to start having a little more faith - faith in each other.