Do you have faith? I do. My perspective on faith comes from my Christian worldview. The Bible defines faith as follows; “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) From there the chapter goes on to list people who lived by faith.
Examples of Faith
We all exercise some degree of faith daily. Maybe you call it belief but whatever you call it, you enter situations all the time not knowing the outcome. For example; I know airplanes fly but I don’t know exactly how. Despite not knowing, every time I get in a plane I have faith I will get where I’m going safely. You have faith:
- That other drivers won’t drive on the wrong side of the road and cause an accident when you’re on the highway.
- When you put a letter in the mailbox and assume it will get to the intended address.
- That Google is giving you valid search results.
Call it faith, belief, trust or something else, we operate the majority of life by this concept.
Cause for Concern
Given the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in there’s great cause for concern. People may lose their jobs and some already have. There will be businesses that go under if this lasts much longer. Bank accounts may be depleted and retirement savings are shriveling away as markets constrict.
Most importantly, many people have lost their lives and that will continue for some period of time. The list goes on and on when it comes to the ramifications of the pandemic.
The State of the Nation in 1939
I was not alive during World War II but I’ve read a lot about it and watched countless documentaries. Here are a few things that stand out for me regarding the state of our nation when war broke out in 1939.
- The United States was wholly unprepared for war because our military was small, untested and outdated.
- We were still in a decade long depression and seemingly did not have the financial resources to get ready for war.
- There was division among our citizens – those who wanted to remain isolated and those who felt we needed to help our allies.
- We had a controversial president who was disliked by nearly half the country because they felt his policies were not helping us economically or socially.
If you know about this time in American history there are perhaps other things that stand out for you. Unprepared and uncertainty are two words that come to mind when thinking back on that time.
The State of the Nation Now
There seem to be many parallels between 1939 and 2020.
- The United States is wholly unprepared to fight a pandemic. This includes supplies and technology.
- While we were in the midst of the greatest economic boom in the history of the nation in January, we may slip into a depression very soon.
- There is division among our citizens – those who want to move towards isolationist policies and those who feel we needed to be more open with the world.
- We have a controversial president who is disliked by half the country because they feel his policies have not helped us economically or socially.
As I noted in the previous section, perhaps different things that stand out for you as you consider the state of things at this moment in time.
Why I Have Faith
Despite the gloom and doom we currently hear from the media and see on social media, what stands out above all else was our response to WWII. We came together as a nation and defeated a common enemy. Now we have an opportunity to do the same.
- During WWII whole industries worked with the government to meet the demands for war. We’re beginning to see that.
- Amazing new technologies were invented out of necessity. We have that chance today.
- In the early 1940s there was still controversy about the right path to pursue but once the course was set Americans fell in line because of what was at stake. The more we voluntarily do that now (i.e. social distancing and self-quarantining) the less need there will be for government imposition on our lives.
We live in the most unique time in human existence. Our technological advances and interconnectedness have allowed society to flourish in ways never seen before in history. But, our prosperity is also fragile in many respects. We’re seeing that in real time as markets quickly unravel and jobs are being lost.
Here’s the good news; those same things – our collective intelligence and technology – that allowed us to flourish will help us bounce back faster than ever!
And now for some encouragement; on the heels of World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic America rebounded and entered an unprecedented time of prosperity known as “The Roaring 20s.” I have faith we can do that again.
To Do This Week
Beyond encouragement what can you do? Here are a handful of things that involve making simple choices:
- Do your part. Stay at home as much as possible and consciously keep distance when possible. In other words, put the well-being of others ahead of yourself.
- Remain social. Use Facetime, Zoom, Skype and other technology to check in on people and maintain your social connections.
- Positive Mental Attitude. Maintaining a positive mental attitude will help you and everyone you’re around. Plan to do things you’ll look forward to.
- We are more consumed than ever with work, technology and other demands. If things have slowed for you, use some of that time to reflect on the good things in your life.
- Have faith. We’ve faced huge obstacles in the past and we have overcome. There’s no reason to believe we cannot to the same this time.
Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, survived three years in Nazi concentration camps. One of his profound insights through the ordeal was this; “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Choose faith!
Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE, LLC. An author, international trainer, coach and consultant, he’s one of only 20 people in the world personally trained by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the planet on the science of ethical influence.
Brian’s book, Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical, was a top 10 selling Amazon book in several insurance categories and top 50 in sales & selling. His LinkedIn Learning courses on sales and coaching have been viewed by more than 90,000 people around the world!