Keep the faith – change won’t happen without it

When faith is absent, hope will also be missing, Kevin Shinn writes.


The old rule – never discuss politics and religion with the family – is a pretty good one to abide by. I think its wisdom has less to do with the subject matter and more to do with an inability to listen and understand.

Most of the time, it seems we listen for our chance to step in and refute.

The way I see it, these two subjects have more in common than we would like to admit. And I believe that the common ground is faith. Both require a level of faith by those who hold to that ideology, be it in governing forces or spiritual ones.

Faith isn’t just limited to religion. The simplest definition of faith that has made the most sense to me is this: being sure of what I hope for.

I exhibit faith in all types of situations every day. One of the most amazing acts of faith to me is getting in a car and driving down the road. Every other driver has faith in the system that was set up on the agreement that if I stay on my side of the yellow line, you will do the same and stay on your side.

We can pass each other at high rates of speed with our faith in that line down the middle of the road.

Faith is being sure of what I hope for. Therefore, I have faith that you’re going to stay in your lane. This agreement is working for our current system of transportation. But there are other social systems that many have lost faith in.

Like in “justice for all.”

When faith is absent, hope will also be missing. They are inseparable. I can’t have faith without hope. Nor can I expect restorative change without help from both of them.

The answer to justice for all rests in people who still have faith that it can, and will, eventually happen. And they will not waver because hope drives them toward the view of a better future.

A writer, entrepreneur, and chef-curator of The Portico Experience, Kevin Shinn is a thought leader in Lincoln’s cultural, economic, and civic life. For more Civic Nebraska Writers Group columns, click here.

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