Connotative and definitive meanings can differ vastly from word-to-word. Our language is fluid and expandable–due to colloquial use and traditional tense. And one word that garners more support and hate in a single moment, is the word “faith.”
faith, noun (source)
- confidence or trust in a person or thing:
faith in another’s ability.
- belief that is not based on proof:
He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
- belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion:
the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
- belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.:
to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
- a system of religious belief:
the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
- the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.:
Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
- the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one’s promise, oath, allegiance, etc.:
He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
For the religious or spiritual, it means something beyond us. For the patriotic, it means something religiously loyal. For the positive, it means more than it does to the cynic.
What I have often found with those who say they have no “faith,” is that they disregard the little acts of faith we display every day–those moments where we let go of our reservations and allow ourselves to believe that someone or something will come through for us. We trust each other, we trust what we create, we even trust what others create. If we can do that, even in the smallest ways, then believing that others have faith elsewhere can’t be that hard to wrap one’s mind around. But it is, because it’s easy to poke fun rather than to empathize.
The religious affiliation of faith is often referenced to someone that cannot be seen. There isn’t an ignorance or blindness that comes with faith; it is what it’s lexical definition portrays it to be: faith. Just because it is not tangible, does not mean it is in no way there. There are mysteries of this world that we have yet to uncover in all of the centuries we have inhabited it. What we choose to take from our experiences on this planet are ours alone.
Those who exhibit faith in someone or something shouldn’t be put down, but uplifted. Those with faith–of any kind–dare to believe in something. They do not wish to live their day-to-day believing there is no reason for anything. Those with faith are brave, and those who recognize their faith–religious or not–feel fulfilled and satisfied. Isn’t that what many of us want?