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Faith, Hope And Charity

Posted by iMacG5

So what’s it all about? Most of us are born, live any number of years, then we die. So what’s it mean? Did we take someone else’s place? Will someone take our place? Was it mostly fun? Was some of it too difficult or was it a breeze? Some are born sick or get sick very young. They suffer, can’t get to school, cause rivers of tears from loving, helpless family, acquaintances and total strangers. Then they smile and our hearts break. Some live around a hundred years, get colds and belly aches once in a while, twist an ankle or something and moan about how difficult life is. Most of us are not perfect physical specimens, are less than brilliant, skilled at only a few things and suffer from human traits like anger, fear, criticism of others and sometimes we’re just jerks. Some are victims of good things that end badly like infatuation, love, lottery disaster or scratch golf until the brain got involved. Then life goes on and some of us wonder why or what for. I’m told it’s all about faith, hope and charity. If that’s related to religion then I need to change the subject. I’ll assume those characteristics are human, non-denominational things to hang on to. I want to think there’s something to this philosophy so I can enjoy my life more and conclude that it does have some meaning. I guess that means I have hope. It’s not a big deal. Anyone can hope for anything but without reasonable expectations hope might not be realistic. I might hope for a lightning bolt to hit the SOB that just cut me off on I-95 but that’s not reasonable and, in some circles, might be considered ill-natured. Unless there’s a religious definition of hope, I don’t have to be religious to have hope.
Charity is a wonderful thing and It’s good for me to be charitable. I feel good if I can share some stuff I have with others who might need and can’t afford it. My parents were generous to a fault and sometimes deprived themselves to give to others. Well, that’s not me but I have found that the more generous I am the luckier I seem to get. Nothing religious about that either. I just think most folks are good and will give to those in need; within limits, of course.
So that brings me to Faith and I don’t know where to begin. If I work hard and try to do the right things, I have faith there’s a good chance things will work out favorably. If a little kid gets sick, suffers then dies from some stupid disease we can’t cure, my faith lets me think there are things that happen, can’t be explained and that’s part of the definition of “life”. I could hate it, try to blame the system, the lack of science, the kid’s parents and nothing will change. I can only feel better if I can accept that things might happen for no good reason and have faith that in time, through lots of energy, maybe we’ll find a way to prevent them from ever happening again. For those who translate “faith” to believing and trusting that God will make everything better eventually, that’s great if it works for them but I believe God has other stuff to take care of like keeping the universe together and He/She gave us the tools to fix stuff ourselves.
Unfortunately I have so many more questions than answers and it doesn’t look like that’s gonna change too quickly I hope it will and I have faith that it could. Maybe I’ll drop a couple more bucks in the basket.
Thanks for reading.


See all blogs by iMacG5
Oct 20, 2020
kmedup : Hi Mike, You sure put a lot of thought into this post. I will reply when I can wrap my currently busy brain around all those fine comments. Stay safe. Karen
Oct 21, 2020
iMacG5 : Thanks, Karen. I respect your thoughts on all the things we discuss. I guess that's the result of your brain being so busy.
I will stay safe and you do the same.
Oct 23, 2020
Bill : Hello Mike.
Thank you for your thoughts on some very interesting and ponderous questions.
I have written rhymes to indicate that I too have contemplated such things. However, my ruminations tend to be more cynically portrayed than your own account so, I will refrain from sharing them on this occasion (lest they offend). Suffice it to say that my rhymes reflect what bullies can do to destroy and dominate those who rely on faith, hope and charity. For these are the sort of attributes (in others) which are perceived as weaknesses by them, to be manipulated and exploited for their own benefit.
It is perhaps not really feasible to think that bullies can be persuaded that these things are qualities and strengths, rather than weaknesses. However, those who have come to believe in such things are perhaps (at this point)ahead of their time and at some time in the future, when all bullies are kept under control, then faith, hope and charity might become the values that support those who rule the world.
Best wishes
Oct 24, 2020
delgrl525 : Hi Mike, My first thought when reading your post is that this world would be a much better place if everyone thought as you do. Unfortunately, not everyone does. I wish I had your faith, and I don't mean in the religious sense. I wish I believed that "most people are good", but if that were true I don't think we humans would find ourselves in our current state. I think there are enough of us who are basically good and that it is worth it to fight for justice and fairness in the world. We will never achieve it all the time but if we keep pushing we may prevail more times than we fail. One thing we can never change is the absolute randomness of so many things in life. I cannot believe there is any "plan" or "meaning" in some of the things that happen in this world, like the little innocent kid with loving parents who dote on him, who becomes sick and dies, or is hit by a drunk driver. Or the plane that crashes killing hundreds of innocent people. I have always struggled with the notion of "faith" that things happen for a reason and will turn out the way they are meant to. But I do have hope, and hope is what keeps me going. I think as long as you have that there is reason to get up every day and keep going even on the bad days when it seems nothing goes right, there is always hope that tomorrow will be better. I agree with you about charity 100%. I have always found that I am the beneficiary of such positive feelings when I give something to someone else who needs it more than me, or just give to a cause I believe in because I am able. I think I get back as much as I give.

Oct 25, 2020
dadnabbit : Hi Mike,

I have FAITH that most humans are willing to assume their responsibilities as members of a society.
I HOPE that that willingness will show itself in their actions, especially those that are necessary to protect and save the most vulnerable.
I will be CHARITABLE and forgive those unable to act like civil human beings as well as those unwilling to contribute to what is best for EVERYONE.

Oct 25, 2020
Bill : Okay Mike.
So, you have my attention and, whilst I did not want to get into this subject too deeply, I suppose I must be grateful to you for motivating me towards a new verse on the subject. Obviously, I have not lost any of my cynicism in this regard, but I do pride myself on being 'open-minded, so as soon as those in charge of human societies start to show these qualities of faith, hope and charity, I might be motivated to take a different perspective in my verses.
Best wishes


To have some faith, I feel we must
rely on confidence and trust,
but where this is in short supply
I must then ask the question - why?

Why have faith in people who
would have a nasty point of view
and try to distort what is true
to try to benefit just their few?

Faith implies an expectation
folks will have an obligation
to do what's right and make a stand
and not to act so underhand.

But so far, this is not what's been,
or, at least, not what I've seen,
within most of the human race
who seem to be a big disgrace.

If hope is something that is real,
it's also something they would steal,
for they are quick to plant the seed
yet, know it grows to be a weed.

And as for charity my friend,
most will know that in the end
our rulers take the selfish view
that ‘charity' is made for ‘you'.

The more ‘you' give, the more ‘they' take,
manipulating their tax-break
and making sure the poor will pay
and they will proudly walk away.

should lead to human parity,
and not mean some can abuse it
so only they may benefit.

B. Withers 2020

Oct 25, 2020
iMacG5 : Nancy, I think you summed it up very well without making it a religious thing. I wonder how many folks never give this stuff a thought.
Thanks for sharing,
Oct 25, 2020
iMacG5 : Well, Bill, you did it again. Your verses do so much more than rhyme. They present facts of human nature we sometimes ignore or worse, just take for granted. You are too kind to credit me with giving you motivation but I'm happy you found it.
As always,
Oct 29, 2020
kmedup : So Mike - you had me thinking about this topic. This is how far I got...

Before I can begin to examine the virtues of faith, hope and charity, there must be truth.

This brings me to when I was watching the serial on “Chernobyl” some time ago. I will never forget what Legoasav said, “Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid.”

Truth before all else. Just, K
Oct 30, 2020
w30bob : Hi Mike,

What an interesting post! But I need one clarification.....you seem to want to avoid discussing religion at all costs......but when you said "I'm told it's all about faith, hope and charity. If that's related to religion then I need to change the subject." I get a bit confused.

Ummmmm.....it IS related to religion. It's the context from which that saying came from. Faith, Hope and Charity are the three great virtues that the New Testament calls for all Christians to have. Paul, the Apostle, said “Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” So outside of that religious context.....no one has said life is about those three things. Maybe whoever told you life is about those three things is applying this Christian ideal to everyone.....but there's no escaping the fact that the expression you're pondering is inherently religious. It's like saying we should all fight for "truth, justice and the American way" outside the context of Superman. Just sayin'.

Oh...it's felt by most Christian scholars that the word "Charity" in this expression really means "love".....not giving people your stuff.

Nov 01, 2020
iMacG5 : Sorry for causing confusion Bob. Hope I could rectify that. I have faith that I will.
Firstly, my comment about changing the subject because of its relationship to religion was because of some ostomates' requests to avoid religion and/or politics.
Regarding your offering of the origin of that concept one might ask questions like, “Is there an Old Testament?” or “Is that a rule that Paul came up with?” or “Who's Paul?” Now if you and I abideth these three “virtues” would we feel better about ourselves? Probably not until we can agree with the meaning of charity. If it means giving people stuff, those people might feel better about us. I can do that. If it means “love” as in “Love thy neighbor”, I'm not sure I could comply. Suppose my neighbor is a jerk, malicious, abusive, a bully and just not a good person. I
can't love him but I can still loan him my lawnmower. Am I screwed?
So if Paul didn't invent that advice and scribble it somewhere that I found and read it, how the heck did I even come up with this? Maybe from the Roy Rogers show where it was called “the Bible Told Me So”. Who wrote the Bible? Is that the same as Scriptures. How about the Dead Sea Scrolls?
Sorry, again. Now I really got lost.
I just want to add, as a historical rather than religious concept, I think the word “respect” was translated to “love” during the writing of one of those Testaments.
I can respect my neighbor even if he's a jerk. If I do he should consider that “charitable”.
Stay safe!
Jul 03, 2021
Caz67 : I know I'm a bit late on board this question but I found it a very interesting subject and can't resist. I believe that we are all on this planet earth to learn lessons and strongly believe that we are supposed to learn to love one and other for the world to be a better place. XX ??
Aug 04, 2021
iMacG5 : Hey Caz, on this particular subject it's never too late. I think you're right about our purpose on this planet. Working together, helping each other, respecting each other even when we might not agree and learning all we're capable of learning will improve the quality of our lives. It starts with what we do for others, I think. I really believe that and appreciate your thoughts.