I, on the other hand, am a risk taker. I trust that we'll be OK, whether we know where next month's money is coming from or not. I believe people are inherently good, and I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. When that stranger walked into our house a couple months ago, I figured he needed something. I asked him if he was cold or hungry or needed help, and only after getting no responses from him and a pointed look from Knute did I go call the police, and I felt bad about doing it. Perhaps with a little more time, we could have helped him and gotten him home. I know I'm responsible for most of Knute's gray hairs.
I have always had a sturdy safety net under and around me. My parents' affluence is only part of it. My family's generous spirits and caring values are another part. But I think it goes deeper than those things, and I didn't always feel it. As a kid, I didn't want to try anything new until I was sure I could accomplish it. Hence, I didn't climb many trees or jump off high places or learn to dive when I was young. As my first husband became less and less involved in our family, I started to stand on my own feet once in a while, and by the time we divorced, I was terrified of being on my own, but I took that leap of faith and survived. Amazing.
After that one major leap, trusting God, the universe, my family, my own strength, fate, friends became easier. I started to believe that I would be OK, not because I had any financial security or particular skills or abilities, but because I was "hooked up," as one friend put it. I felt connected to unknown forces that I could trust to get me through the hard stuff. There was still plenty of hard stuff, but it didn't scare me anymore.
The moment I realized I had acquired that feeling of trust and security is the moment I attribute to becoming a person of faith. I won't try to define what I have faith in here, because it's too ethereal for any of us to truly understand. But it's in all of us, and it's stronger when we connect with one another, and if we focus on it and trust it and give to it, it empowers us and overcomes fear, loneliness, discouragement, sadness.
I love living with that feeling -- trusting in good's ability to overcome evil, trusting that if my heart is focused and loving, it won't be broken. I have my issues with organized religion, and even conversations about God, because I think when humans try to define something we can never know, we just muck it up. If you want to call my connectedness a God thing, go ahead. I think it's more the natural human condition that too many of us have lost touch with. Our mental and spiritual abilities are, for the most part, unknown. The unknown has some incredible gifts just waiting for us to discover. Isn't it exciting?