Wow! I was blown away with the different emotions I had while watching one of Lisa Ling's first episodes of Our America. It is on a topic that has always been uncomfotable for me. It was about the people who believe in faith healing, the laying of hands on people and then people falling to the floor. It brought back feelings of fear that I had when I was exposed to this kind of Faith in the past. While watching, I had feelings of skepticism, compassion, a stronger faith, hopefulness, sadness, brainwashing, and so much more. But it's not my place to put my feelings and beliefs on someone else. The people seemed happy and they seem to be good people. How they get there or why is their business. I do believe that Faith can heal.
These people come with hope to be healed of whatever is ailing them from paralysis to Drug abuse. As an outsider, we worry about those who are praying for miracles and if it doesn't work they may be disappointed. But, faith as I recognize it, says to me that if you have true faith you wouldn't be upset if a miracle didn't happen. You'd accept it as God's will. Would you be disappointed? Probably. Sure enough in the program, when a paralyzed man in the wheelchair did not get up when he thought God had told him he would, he accepted it as not his time. He was disappointed but was not going to give up.
I know what my beliefs are and they bring comfort and peace. They have brought me through some toughs times and they ease my worries of what the future holds. They make me a better person. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, their interpretations of the world and the way they practice it. It doesn't mean that we, the outsider, has to believe them, nor does it mean that they should force them upon others. If we take the time to understand why or how someone sees things in a different way or how they deal with the world and struggles in the way they do, we can learn to be more understanding and accepting. If their actions negatively effect us, then we, of course, need to remove ourselves from harm, but we don't have to let our emotions take hold of us and consume us. We don't have to agree but we have to see...see that there are other ways than our own to view the world. Yes, if they are destructive to someone we love, we must make an attempt to help but if they are not wiling to accept that help, that is their choice and we don't need to hold on to negative emotions that lessen our happiness. Accept it as it is and learn from it.
I could tell in the program that Lisa Ling was emotionally taxed by what was going on. She appeared to have many of the same feelings I did and maybe hers were rubbing off on me. She set judgement aside and tried to understand the people she was learning about. I tried to keep an open mind about "Faith healing" and see it from their point of view. I still have my opinions about it but i understand it a bit more. One thing I do know is that the people seem happy and they aren't doing anyone harm. Are they being taken advantage of? Maybe. Maybe that is our opinion. We all take risks that could be harmful or destructive no matter how big or small. If you buy a lottery ticket, could you be taken advantage of? Maybe. If we buy name brand labels, are we being taken advantage of? Maybe. If we have a friend who is always taking from you and not giving back, are we being taken advantage of? Maybe. So, the idea of being taken advantage of is relative.
Find what works for you, learn from what works for others, try new things, see another point of view, look up or over or down to see another perspective, walk in someone else's shoes, love, live and be happy.
Life is good. Make the best of it. There are some good people out there you haven't taken the time to get to know. It could be enriching.
Our America by Lisa Ling
“Faith isn't faith until it's all you're holding on to”