16 April 2013

Thoughts on faith

After the absolutely awful events that happened in Boston just over 24 hours ago, I feel a great urge to write. Not about the evil in the world or asking who would do such a thing. That would be like giving into the people that commited this atrocity by giving them the satisfaction of knowing how much they have shocked and saddened us.

Of course we are upset and saddened and rightly so, but it is awful situations like this when mankind has an enormous ability to show us what good there is in the world. And it is when something like this happens that people start to question the world, religion and how we are living our lives.

I read a blog post from my favourite blogger yesterday, about an hour after I'd watched the news about the Boston bombings. (Click here if you're curious). It was about faith, religion and what it means to her family. Add to this the negativity surrounding Islam which is, unfortunately, a common conclusion that people jump to after an incident like this and it got me thinking about my own beliefs and what I want you to have faith in as you grow up.

I was brought up attending church, having a strong family link to it and going to a Christian school. However, I am not what you would traditionally class as 'religious' now. I do not attend church to worship. I don't pray. The extent of my connection with 'God' is saying 'Bless you' when somebody sneezes. Seriously, that's it.

But.... I do have faith. I have faith in people. I have faith that the goodness in people will overcome the bad.

  There is so much good in the world Harry. A lot of people focus on the negatives because it's easy to see when we turn on the news or read the newspaper. When was the last time you saw a headline that read 'Everything's fine! Have a great day!'? You have to look for the good but it's really not hard to see.

 Children can see the good in people almost exclusively. They trust strangers, get along with children of all nationalities and backgrounds and don't discriminate by gender or sexuality. Adults tell us we don't understand the world when we are children. Wrong. Children know what life is about. They get it.
 I am including a photo of the 8 year old boy who was killed in the bombings, Martin Richard, to illustrate this. The innocence, kindness and purity of this boy is overwhelming.

R.I.P Beautiful boy

The good in this world far outweighs the bad. It is the small acts of kindness, showing loved ones or strangers that we care, this is what I believe in. The power of a good deed is immense. It makes the other person feel like somebody cares and it makes you feel amazing. Try it. Just something small. Like giving someone 10p when they are short of change for the bus or helping an elderly person carry their shopping. It can only take a minute, maybe ten but that person will probably remember forever.

I'm not about to launch into acts of kindness that I've done. This is not about boasting. But what I do want to do is highlight the kindness, bravery and self sacrifice of those people first on the scene in Boston.

The people who gave no regard for their own safety to help the injured

The people who ran into the chaos rather than away from it.

The runners who ran past the finish line and carried on running to the hospital to give blood.

The residents of Boston who offered up their  cars, homes, spare beds, food and water to those in need.

And the emergency services who put their lives at risk every single day.

Yes, these are huge acts of self sacrifice and bravery and that's not something we can do in everyday life. We can, however, start off small.

 This is my church. This is my God - the goodness in peoples hearts. It's not what we say or believe. It's what we do that matters. Serving others, helping, giving what we can. Not just money but time, a smile or going out of your way to show someone you care. It's enjoying the little things in life and appreciating what you have.

Two photos that made me smile and appreciate my small but significant place in the world:

Your faith that this stick really is a broomstick and it CAN fly
Little things that bring a smile and a giggle

I have a beautiful, healthy little boy and I want you to grow up having faith that the world IS a good place.


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