Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world in which humans had faith in other humans?
Wouldn’t it be nice if people had faith that good wins out over evil, that virtue leads to happiness, and that freedom creates the best kind of society?
Answer: it would be very nice.
But the faith – the core *trust* – in all of these notions is something that gets put to the test every day. And we’re often the ones doing the testing.
When we fail to keep promises, we don’t just make ourselves look bad. We actually *punish* the faith of people who trust that people keep their words. We make trust a liability.
We do the same thing when we condone evil people (cough, politicians, cough), or when we punish people for being better than us (see: all envy or “Puritan” name-calling, ever).
We punish people’s faith in the good all the time.
Why don’t we reward it for a change?
Let’s keep our words. Let’s use our freedom well. Let’s call out the evil around us. Let’s restore victims. Let’s reward excellence and virtue.
We all know we need to better with our lives. But there is a special power to just knowing how our actions shape the faith of those around us. In doing virtuous things, we will be doing more than just meeting some requirements, or pleasing some people. We will be giving a gift.
So many people out there long desperately for truth, goodness, and beauty. They’re caught in a desert. And we have the option to give them the water they’ve been seeking.
When we reward faith, we will be giving them hope. When they have hope, they will act.
And then maybe – one day – they’ll reward our faith, too.