So who would know that a television show could teach you a little something about life? Not that I am saying that they cannot, but let’s face it, most shows today are filled with ill mannered housewives, foul mouth animated toddlers, and soap operas about beautiful women wielding off scandals while humping heads of state. Good old wholesome American entertainment right? With so much excitement going on, there’s no wonder there’s little room for real time epiphany about the human condition.
Grey's Anatomy". Ok, in an effort to avoid hordes of pitchfork wielding fans surrounding my home with torches at the ready, I will try to get the names of characters and situations of the show correct. As of late I have been a slave to documentaries following the exploits of the Chupacabra rather than keep up with the trials and tribulations of the residents of Seattle Grace since Izzie died. Yes, I am bitter about Izzie.
So tonight I tuned in just in time for a heated argument between April Kepner (Sarah Drew) and Jackson Avery (Jessie Williams). During the climax of the argument, Jackson bellows at April that he not only felt that April’s Faith in Jesus was misguided but to him silly. He asserts to her that he believes in medical science and not something he views as not real. A stunned April in turn tells him that she feels sorrow for him. After questioning her if she felt pity for him, she admitted that she did. She felt sorrow for Jackson because he could not believe in anything that he could see.
Ok, now one would probably surmise this isn’t a very big deal. It is a very big deal. Can you imagine a world devoid of faith? Really, just sit back and think about how faith has played a major part in the human condition and where we would be if this simple and often misunderstood concept was left out of the equation of human development. Most of what we take for granted today probably would not be in existence.
Lewis Latimer or Garrett Morgan lacked faith in their dreams or abilities? In their time, racial discrimination wasn’t only rampant and unrepentant it was ingrained in the legal doctrine of law. American society not only told them what they could not, but what they should not aspire to strive to be. These men had faith and determination of otherwise. If Latimer had not, Alexander Bell may not have been first to submit his patent for the telephone, thus making the world smaller and revolutionizing the way we communicate and disseminate information. Latimer’s invention of a method of making carbon filaments for electric incandescent lamps and his work with Thomas Edison paved the way for electricity to literally power the world. If Morgan had forgone his faith, the gas mask would never have played a pivotal role in World War I and millions of more lives may have been lost. The rise of the automobile was followed by auto accidents and fatalities. Morgan's invention of the traffic signal helped to save many more lives there.
These are just three examples out of our recent past, but the influence of faith is as innumerable as the souls that have walked the earth. That’s just the point. Everyone, who has ever strived to achieve something, to do what others have said was impossible, had to rely on faith, whether on themselves or a higher power, to get them through.
This is the context of faith when April meant when she confronted Jackson about his apparent disregard in her beliefs. She pitied him because he could not believe in anything that he could not see. Religion was on the surface of the argument but her statement cut much deeper. Jackson had tunnel vision on the tangible which manifested itself in his belief in medical science. It was a routine phenomenon he saw every day when a patient came in for care, when someone was on the operating table, or had their blood drawn for tests. It was something he understood because it was in the physical and the laws were tangible. If a surgeon performed a particular procedure then the expectancy rate of success was x, y, or z. He didn’t see it as a result in the prayers to an Almighty being dwelling in the ethos, but as a set of laws of cause and effect one can reasonably ascertain from past experiences. He believed in only what he could see and the results of that.
So here’s my point in a long nutshell. You may not believe in Yahweh, Jesus, Allah, Shiva, Buddha, or whatever higher power ever known to mankind. As with Jackson, you may not be able to believe in that in which you cannot see. The thing is, if we can only see what’s ahead of us, we would never move beyond our current conditions. If we believe there is nothing out there, we would not be inspired to find out. We would not grow, there wouldn’t be any progress, and we would not fulfill our full potential. Faith, in whatever its form, plays a pivotal role in our existence and in our future. Faith is the essence that fuels our dreams. Myopic sight destroys vision.
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