“I want to believe in people.”
The video showed a man speeding down a water slide and flying through the air to land in a pool of water many feet away. It was an amazing feat. Astonishing!
It was also a fraud. It never happened.
Insignificant? Petty? Sure.
There are more important things in the world, but the realization that your emotions and credulity have been manipulated by a technician and his computer is disappointing at the least. It can be infuriating if we dwell upon it.
When the fraud was pointed out to my friend who shared the video, her response was the almost plaintive quote you see at the top of the page.
It is a desire shared by every one of us. And, day by day, it is an optimism which is being eroded.
I want to believe in people.
The news story for days has been of a little girl who was savaged by vicious dogs, her face lacerated and disfigured. Then, the story reports, when she was released from the hospital, a worker in a fast food restaurant insisted her parents take her out of the establishment because she was frightening other children.
The public uproar was instantaneous and furious. Boycott the restaurant chain! Send money for the child’s medical treatment! We are shocked that anybody could do that to a little girl!
We want to believe in people. Obviously, we can’t.
Today, the tables are turned. All the news outlets are reporting it is likely the story itself is a hoax. The tale is now of a family that couldn’t cover medical bills, so decided to use the media and a wealthy corporation to make sure that they were not going to be left penniless. If the current news reports are to be believed, they lied. The event never occurred.
We want to believe in people. We can’t.
Time will demonstrate who is telling the truth there. We certainly can’t know from our vantage point today.
Every day, it seems, they walk through my door. They probably come through yours, too.
Stories. They tell me stories. I want to believe that the narratives are not simply fabrications. I want to think that not one of these folks who stand in front of me and weave their tales of woe are lying to me.
I would be wrong. People lie.
Now that I think of it, so do I.
You are surrounded by people who may be lying to you.
What a situation! We live in a world filled with folks who seek their own good and are willing to lie and cheat to get it. That includes you. It includes me.
You already know the answer to that question, don’t you? I wonder, is that the reason He told us to consider each other better than ourselves? Is that the reason he told us to open our hearts and homes to strangers? Is that the reason he told us to spend time with the lawbreakers in prison?
Maybe it’s time to open our hearts to liars and thieves, to the homeless and destitute. There is a bit of each of us in those descriptions, isn’t there?
No, we can’t believe people. But we can believe Him.
We believe in God.
People? We simply love them.
We open our hearts and hands to them. Because it’s what we–each one of us–need.
Because it’s how He told us to live.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”
(Matthew 25:40 ~ NIV)
“You who speak languages, you are such liars.”
(Orson Scott Care ~ American author/educator)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2014. All Rights Reserved.
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