Someone to watch over us

I’ll be honest. When it came to believing in God, a higher power, whatever you want to call it – I really tried. I know it would be comforting to think there’s someone out there watching over me, someone that wants only the best for me. I think that deep down we all want to know that someone is watching over us, helping us through the hard times and giving us strength when we need it most.

But I never saw it.

Maybe I didn’t look hard enough. Maybe my mind is so full of questions and doubts, biology and physics, a need for proof and explanation that I can’t see it. Maybe I’m wrong… and maybe I’m not.

But I do have something I believe in, something I have faith in, something that gives me comfort and hope when I’m feeling down. I have faith in the promise and goodness of humanity and in the power of individuals or small groups of people to change the world for the better. I believe that deep down people really are good at heart. For me, there’s no other explanation – we simply had to be in order to survive. Sure, we make mistakes. We go left when we should have gone right, or we say a careless word that sticks with and stings those who care about us. However, we can also give two of the most powerful words that, when meant, show our goodness: I’m sorry. We acknowledge our own shortcomings and we make amends for offenses.

We cooperate.

We forgive.

But it doesn’t end there. People show their goodness every day whether it’s stopping to help someone change a flat tire, volunteering at a soup kitchen or offering to share their umbrella on a rainy day. I’m sure you can think of a time that a total stranger did something nice for you, not because they were expecting something in return but because it was the right thing to do.

Richard Dawkins noted that “[the brain’s] rules of thumb influence us still, not in a Calvinistically deterministic way but filtered through the civilizing influences of literature and custom, law and tradition – and, of course, religion. Just as the primitive brain rules of sexual lust passes through the filter of civilization to emerge in the love scenes of Romeo and Juliet, so primitive brain rules of us-versus-them vendetta emerge in the running battles between Capulets and Montagues; while primitive brain rules of altruism and empathy end up in the misfiring that cheers us in the chastened reconciliation of Shakespeare’s final scene.”

Perhaps the desire to do good, to be generous and compassionate is hard-wired into us as a result of our evolutionary history. This makes perfect sense in my view and makes me stronger in my faith in humanity. It’s enjoyable to think that within each of us is this desire and even more thrilling when that desire is manifest into action.

I often dream of a day when humanity will wake up and realize that we’re all in this together. When we’ll all realize that we must care for one another because each voice gained enriches us and each voice lost diminishes us. When we realize that the world speaks with many languages but with one voice. The world speaks with the voice of hope, honor, strength, integrity, compassion and togetherness.

My faith tells me that humanity has this power all within itself. I believe that one day we will all be able to work together to resolve our differences peacefully without resorting to the derogatory distinctions and old hatreds that only serve to keep us apart.

I know that I will likely never live to see this day but I can dream, I can believe and I can have faith. I can do everything in my power to help make this dream a reality through my work as a doctor and hopefully through my future work in politics. My belief in humanity’s potential and my belief in the power of individuals or small groups of people to change the world for the better helps me go on when times are hardest. It gives me the strength to continue on my path and the hope that one day I can make a difference.

And for me, this dream is my “someone to watch over us.”

 

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One Response

  1. Nicely done.

    Are you interested in public office or something else in politics?

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