I don’t believe in thoughts and prayers. I don’t believe in tarot, Ouija or I Ching. I don’t believe in providence, fate, or luck. I don’t believe in messiahs, miracles, or silver bullets.
I don’t believe in progress. I don’t believe things are moving inevitably toward a better world.
I believe in people. I trust people to get things done. I believe in work.
I trust people because I don’t know what else to trust. I trust people because people create such amazing things: art, music and poetry, not to mention toilets, prosthetics, vaccines, therapies, disease-resistant crops, bridges, treaties, trade agreements, safe cars, safe planes, and laws to protect the vulnerable from the ruthless.
And yet, people mess up. Sometimes horribly.
We allow famine, war, and global warming. We create flamethrowers, bombs and assault weapons. We allow the powerful to screw the weak and laugh about it up their sleeves.
Still, I trust people to work things out. I’m hopeful.
After all, I don’t believe in “original sin.” I believe in “original blessing.” I believe we have it in us to do great things. I trust people to see what’s gone wrong, make it right, mend the world, and keep at it endlessly.
And then I remember Sisyphus.
Sisyphus was condemned by Zeus to push a giant boulder up a steep hill. He never clears the top with it. It always rolls back down to the bottom. Endlessly. It’s a myth, of course, which means it never was but always is.
Sometimes I worry that I’m Sisyphus and that trusting people is pushing my luck like a giant boulder up a steep hill.