Keeping the Faith in People Even in Hard Times

Keeping the Faith in People

Right before I head out to work today, I am catching the breaking news of the hostage situations in France. Sadness is inevitable when watching the world news these days.

This past week, a friend noted that I had more faith in people than he did. I responded that this past year of 2014 which was a horrible one for me, rocked that sense of faith I have in people. Although, now that I reflect on my answer I wonder if I was accurate in my self-assessment.  Part of me never gives up on people. Even in the worse of situations, I tend to believe people will come through or do the right thing. Which is why I often experience moments of disappointment.  I’m always laughing so I experience many moments of happiness, but I also laugh when situations are bad.  I’m quick to anger but it usually dissipates very quickly to be replaced by disappointment.   That sense of disappointment indicates to me that I do maintain the faith.

When I was a young poor child in the South Bronx, we didn’t have many other people we could turn to for financial help as many others in our neighborhood were just as poor and some worse off. There was a moment that I will never forget that remains seared in my brain and heart. My mom took out her red cart (that are everywhere in NYC) and we headed out. I wondered if we were going grocery shopping. My mother noted that was not exactly the case. We went to our local church where I had done my first communion. We knocked on the side door and there was our local priest. I don’t remember my mother’s words to him. I do remember that he ducked back inside and came out with several cans of food. He noted that he himself didn’t have much but he wished us well and a good warm meal. Later that night my teary-eyed  mom handed me the crucifix that my dead uncle had made and told me to hold onto it. I still have it to this day. I am not a very religious person. Some may even call me a lapsed Catholic. But I will never forget the kindness we were shown.   Faith in people is what was born in me at that time.

Fast forward several years later where I am at boarding school getting ready to come home. I cut across the lawn which I had been taught to never do but I was in a hurry.  I lost my little yellow wallet that contained the money my mother had sent me to come home. That was my train amtrak money. I was delirious.  A maintenance worker saw how upset I was and came over. I told him my story and he went on to look as well. Then he took me over to an administrative office on campus. I told that administrator my story. He looked at my sad eyes and took out his wallet and gave me the money for the train ticket. Faith in people. I could not get by in life without it.

A few years back I had horrible pain on my side. I went to a doctor who notes that yes I again had an ovarian cyst.However, her workload was huge and couldn’t really schedule me for a surgery until maybe six weeks later.   I left feeling dejected and still in pain. I went to work and the pain really showed through my eyes. A colleague noted that pain and immediately called his brother who was a pharmaceutical representative. His brother knew a top surgeon in New York City. His brother called me and then called the doctor. This top surgeon then personally called me and asked me to come into to his practice. Six hours later I was on the operating table. Apparently the cyst and the scarring form my former cyst was pulling on my intestines. It was a good thing that I was brought in. I was and am forever grateful to a workplace colleague, his family member and a surgeon who went the extra mile to help me out. How can you not have faith in people?

I suppose this is a bit maudlin. The snow is falling, my body is still aching and the news out there is bleak. Yet each snowflake is unique in its character and beautiful on its own. I must believe that someone will always come through.


8 replies »

  1. “As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the one thing left to us in a bad time…” –E. B. White, writer


  2. Another Self-Evident Truth. It’s often not what you know but who you know that’s important/helpful/necessary/beneficial etc..

    I also laugh in bad situations. Maybe that’s a deflection/distraction mechanism, or a way of stalling till you figure out what to do to make the bad situation better? Just a thought, but if you can do that it may prevent you from crying as I did by the time I finally figured out there was no way to make my bad work situation better before I finally quit it and retired.

    I think the tears were actually more related to the fact that I was too old to even want to change my standards, which had been held in high regard at previous positions but which were too high to be useful at that place, and that I was frustrated and disappointed as I had expected to retire later from what I had thought/hoped would be my dream job at the company where I had always wanted to work.


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