Our Faith in Humanity

We talk about losing faith in humanity, because we see and do terrible things.

But think of what that means. What are we comparing humanity to, in order to be disappointed? Are we comparing it to the rest of the animal kingdom? For those of us that do, humanity will almost always be morally wanting, although creatively fascinating. But what else are we referring to? We are not referring to another race, not from this planet or another one, we are not referring to benevolent all-powerful aliens that we know to be better creatures, and if so, why would we be using the word ‘humanity’? The words get conflated, the meaning behind the disappointment obscured, we use ‘human’ to mean ‘humane’ and we use humanity not to represent the sum total of the homo sapiens gene pool, which is, really, all we are – but to represent what we think we should be, what we dream to be, what we know we should be, what we know, despite all appearances to the contrary and a horrible bloody history of intra-species genocide, that we could be.

That is where the pain comes from.


It is not the present that is so painful, it is that we hold it up to a hope, a dream, a future that cannot come too soon, the only future from which we can derive any sense of self-value as human beings. When we say we have lost faith in humanity, the hidden message is that we clearly see the distance between how we hope to live one day, and how we live now, how we hope to be one day, and how we are now, and this distance would not be so clear to us if the destination were not so clear to us. Our disappointment in the present is in direct proportion to the lucidity with which we see our potential, and that means that despite all our errors, despite all the failures from which we suffer, many of us can clearly see where we’re going.



We do not lack vision, and when we suffer, it is not that we have lost faith in humanity, because if we had, the phrase itself would be rendered meaningless (like saying “I’ve lost faith in rapists”…). Our pain comes from the suffering humanity seems fated to endure on our way to that better place, and so long as you feel that pain, then no, you have not lost faith in humanity, your pain is that faith.

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1 Comment

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    Sarah El Miniawy Hefni

    Is it really that the pain is the faith, or is it painful due to the loss of faith. A faith which one thought one would always have. It’s like relying so much on a possession knowing that you will never loose it, then one day you wake up and it’s gone!

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