TED Conversations

Doris Day

This conversation is closed.

I am losing my faith in humanity. How can I restore it?

Most of the things that I see and heard is how evil humans are toward each other. Human in nature are evil and selfish though I know there are still good but it seems like evil outweigh good. Lately there are things happen in my life which lessen my belief on positive things and losing my faith in humanity. Of course there is a part of me that don't want this to happen but my reasons why I should trust again is shattering.

Share:
  • Oct 16 2013: It was, I believe, the Dali Lama who once pointed out that the things that make the news do so because they are not the norm. When things become accepted as part of the norm, they no longer get much attention. It is also a standard idea in psychology that there is a "vividness effect." The more dramatic someth9ng is, the more likely we are to pay attention to it and to assume that it is more important and more common than it may actually be. The bad things that happen, the terrible things that some people do to other people are the exceptions to the norm, not the norm.
    Human beings are choice-making creatures. And our choices, our actions, are always attempts to get our needs met. Sometimes we choose to get our needs met in healthy, life-affirming, loving ways that are supportive or our relationships with others (because we need others to help us get our needs met). At other times, we choose to get our needs met in ways that are destructive, unhealthy and unloving ways. This is simply the human experience and we should honor it while we seek, for ourselves, to choose well rather than badly. This includes examining our own choices in meeting our needs, actively seeking out those who will cooperate with us to support our mutual needs, and actively avoiding negative strategies and negative people.
    Try to practice pre-forgiveness. Be prepared to forgive our own failures and the failures of others. When we forgive, we do it for ourselves, not the other. Forgiveness allows us to put down the burdens of guilt, regret, fear, anger, and hatred. But forgiveness doesn't require forgetting. Remembering allows us to change and to make better choices.
    Trust always involves risk. We trust because we cannot control. But we trust because we choose to, because trust and trustworthiness have important social, emotional and psychological benefits. Trust because it is good for you. Be trustworthy for the same reason.
  • Oct 16 2013: Volunteer in some where where you get to help and observe underprivileged children or children fighting severe illness.

    Their positive energy can re-kindle your spirit.
  • thumb
    Oct 16 2013: Turn off the tv.
  • Oct 21 2013: Sit with it in Silence. Observe the mind search for solutions. The solution always comes out of the silence.....not the searching.
    Doubt and Faith are perhaps two sides of a coin. See one and you know the other comes soon without effort.
  • thumb
    Oct 17 2013: Doris, I wish I had a easy answer for you ... I don't. As the saying goes life ain't fair. Into every life a little rain must fall. The measure of a person isn't what happened to them .... it is how they handled the events. I hope that you can learn and grow from what ever it is that has happened.

    Humanity did not create these events ... individuals did. If it is at all possible forgive and forget. It would really help you to move on with your life if you can. If this weighs you down it is possible that others will see you as a person that is not happy or good company. Let the love and happiness that is you shine through and let that be what others see and love.

    This is a decision that is solely up to you.

    I wish you happiness and joy in your life. Bob.
  • thumb
    Oct 16 2013: out of humanity gas,run down,seeing life as bleak? this is both a perspective vision and a biochemicsl one.. Ive been where you are numerous times and similar to a chess game you must execute your next ten move robotic like till the swell of negativity subsides. I would reccommend tying your psychi (ship) to a more positive person...a child under two is very good...who takes great joy,not in its public reputation but personalizes each accomplishment....tying shoes,colouring,the world,animals,music....allow anothers joy to be alongside your dismal perspective as much as possible. The other advice is exercise...hire someone to move you...this will help with the chemical lockdown of depression...Ive been through suicide,rape,assault,overdoses and starvation ,and torture..seriously...and I still worship aspects of humanity with a passion that permeates down to the core...but a method was downloaded to generate a path for healing(no psychiatric drugs were depended on) ,,,just a path drawn through humanities best moments healed me
    • thumb
      Oct 17 2013: I just wish I could find someone who is positive and joyful for sure it will help me. What you been through is much more heavier than mine and you made it through. Perhaps I will make through somehow someday..

      I will take your advise about exercising. I guess that is one of the reason. I don't' much physical activities because I work at night.
  • thumb
    Oct 21 2013: I very often get deeply embittered and cynical about humanity and where it's going to end up. But I've noticed an important correlation in myself, which I hope will help you regain that faith.

    This is similar to what Mitch has said - I've noticed that when I feel reasonably good about myself, I become much more tolerant and accepting of others, and the world seems a lot more attractive. My perceptions of the outside world - whether positive or negative - is closely related to whether my own self-esteem is good or bad. The hard thing is recognising it. I find it difficult sometimes to self-diagnose low self-esteem - it sometimes becomes a kind of 'normality' - but when it does make itself known to me, there are a number of strategies I use to stave it off: Long walks, meditation, music... search for beauty - it's never far away.

    If it seems that humanity is dragging me down, I do a thorough self-check to make sure it's not actually ME dragging me down.
  • thumb
    Oct 21 2013: HI Doris,

    Forget humans .. I mean REALLY forget them - then just go back to being you.

    When you get faith in yourself, humanity kinda creeps back-in as a side-effect.

    From here - you seem worth believing in .. does that help?
    • W T 100+

      • +1
      Oct 21 2013: You offer sound advice Mitch.

      You want to know what the struggle is?

      The struggle for us, and when I say us, I mean women mostly, is that in us is a deep desire to be nurturing and believe in others. And many times our desire to have faith in ourselves is trumped by our desire to have faith in others.

      Your advice is very true........and I wholeheartedly agree.........but sometimes it takes YEARS to finally realize that believing in yourself and having faith in yourself, and trusting in yourself is OK...........and that other humans are BEYOND our control.

      I wanted to share that perspective because I have lived for many years on this fine planet, and have undergone many paradigm shifts...........I am always shifting gears........sometimes I sit in neutral for a while, until I am gently nudged.......

      Be Well Mitch...........l really enjoy reading what you write. :D
    • thumb
      Oct 21 2013: What faith should I get in myself? I don't have much confidence with my self.
      • thumb
        Oct 22 2013: You are alive.
        Being alive is a challenge. We take it for granted, but it's an achievement to be alive each new day.

        Expectations are the things that hurt appreciation of ourselves and others.
        If we were left alone to our own experience and observations, our expectations would be fairly accurate.
        It all goes off the rails in the stories we are told - and we are told a whole bunch of porkies over time. Specially in the media. The result is that humans are loaded up with mountains of unrealistic expectations.

        We are just animals. we do animal stuff because there is some advantage to be had - it is not always clear, and it is not always "nice". We tell ourselves stories about how things "should" be.
        Remember "should" is a word of coercion.

        When you know that every living thing must wrest "advantage" from the world to get from this moment to the next - and some take way too much advantage. But when you know that's going on, your expectations get more realistic.

        I like to think of snakes.
        Here we have 5 of the most deadly snakes in the world - they are always around, but few people get bitten.
        Snakes do not live in hopes of biting a human. They are easily frightened and strike aggressively as a defence. They have no ears so they can't hear us coming unless we make some ground vibrations - they feel it. This is why they strike - they get surprised and it frightens them.
        So when we walk in the grass or bush, we stomp to let them know - that way you never see them .. they are already running away.
        That's what I tell my son - so that he won't have persistent irrational fear of them and still acknowledge that one bite is death.
        Compassion is the only way to faith - in yourself and in others.

        Humanity seems to be doing some incredibly destructive things. There's reasons for that, some of those reasons are not known.
        Things won't get better before we apply some compassion.
        Don't look for reasons of guilt - mostly we don't know .. the stories are often false - ah-well :)
  • thumb
    Oct 21 2013: Do something you like doing. If you have lost that find it again. Do it religiously everyday and focus on really doing the best you can at it. Put all the negative pressures you feel around you into that and release it all right there. Face it (your goodness fighting the badness) one day at a time and one step at a time. Fight/release Fight/release Fight/Release one chip at a time. Keep chipping away. Find where to lay the chips down then chip it again from different angles. I don't know, that's just what I do.

    I'm in an intensive child custody battle (1.5 years in). I have lost majority of my family members because I disagree 125% with "the law" and it's views. I rarely and randomly see my kids. I suffer and fight for what I believe is right each and every day. To be honest, I'm losing my ass off but it's worth every bit of energy for myself and others down the road.

    This country that I live in says it's a democracy. I find this very hard to believe. I believe they should change the alphabet up to where the first five letters are M-O-N-E-Y.
    • thumb
      Oct 21 2013: Best wishes Whisky.
    • thumb
      Oct 21 2013: I'm sorry to hear that. I wish you all the best and thank you for your advice.
      • thumb
        Oct 23 2013: Dear Doris,
        Your question is..."I am losing my faith in humanity. How can I restore it?".

        Several people on this thread, including me, have suggested looking in your "self".....right?

        I want to bring your attention to your sentence above, in which you have expressed compassion and gratitude. It is in you dear Doris, and it helps to recognize it in every moment:>)
  • thumb
    Oct 19 2013: You are better off compared to others as your trust was destroyed once. You now know it was not the end of the world.
    Trust again to restore your faith on humanity. Love again with double strength.
    In the place where I live I have few orphan kids who need mothers. Don't you have those needy kids there, Doris?
  • thumb
    Oct 19 2013: I think that you first need to state what aspects of humanity you're loosing your faith in. Is it war or poverty or the environment?
    Have you come to believe that humans are initially bad?

    Please do tell, I think that I might have a mind-cure for any of them and many others. (as I've been where you are)
    • thumb
      Oct 21 2013: Before I always believe that humans are good even though I have been experiencing how selfish, full of crab mentality people are and it's a risk to trust. Well I guess I become tired in believing that there is something good in them despite of everything and yeah seeing and knowing that there is war, poverty, and elusive justice adds my depression.
      • thumb
        Oct 21 2013: Hi Doris,
        Jimmy asks some good questions, which you can ask yourself. If you genuinely want to restore your faith, it might be helpful to be clear about what you are really losing faith with.

        You write... "...I know there are still good but it seems like evil outweigh good". What we focus on expands in our mind. If you know there is still good in our world.....focus on it....recognize it....believe in it.

        Start with yourself. You are part of humanity. Do you believe there is something good about you? I bet there is! If we can recognize good in our "self", it may be easier to believe that many other people share that goodness as well.....make any sense?
  • thumb
    Oct 17 2013: Russian video that made the whole world cry-
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCTzc-SGF8g
    Maybe this will help?
    or this "Celebrate what's right with the world" - http://youtu.be/0GUhUqZMRU0
    • W T 100+

      • 0
      Oct 17 2013: Keith....I love your pictures...each day something new.....Nice!
      • thumb
        Oct 17 2013: TY Mary, in that case I think I will change them even more often. I take my camera everywhere and I find beauty everywhere I go.
    • W T 100+

      • +1
      Oct 17 2013: Now I am back to thank you for that beautiful video that fills my heart with hope.
      Thank you Keith.
    • thumb
      Oct 18 2013: good video...and yes it made me cry..thankyou for the link
      • thumb
        Oct 18 2013: It said in the news there are 30 million people in slavery today. I was taught from a child that Russians and Chinese are bad people, communists, RED, and they all hate us. How can anyone watch a video like that showing the love, compassion and sharing of these ordinary people and still believe all that horrible propaganda all governments are promoting. I am positive I could find the same kind of loving and caring people in every country on the planet. Most of the people on our planet IMHO are just like those in the video who would stop and help another in need. It is only corporations and government who promoting the idea that we should not care about our fellow man, that we should care only about the corporation or government.
        • thumb
          Oct 18 2013: good point Keith...but where did you learn what governments thought and at what age? now you know where the misinformation is spread....but now when we see the fallout of misery from misinformation....do we do next...who would choose to be a part of misinformation...and what do they stand to lose by considering adopting newer better honest views.....////
      • thumb
        Oct 18 2013: Carolyn I can relate to the mushroom (being keep in the dark and only fed bullshit). I was raised a Mormon, not by choice, I was surrounded and abused by a Mormon family, in a Mormon community, in a Mormon valley close to Salt Lake City. I rebelled, I ran away, I stayed from home as much as possible and cherished the time I spent in nature away from the abuse.
        I graduated from High school, took the $100 I had saved, got on the bus and never looked back.

        So far the only useful knowledge I had was what I had observed in nature and being a farmer I knew how to grow my own food and solve any problem. For a farmer there is no such thing as a unsolvable problem, you simply work at it until it is solved.
        Now away from the Mormons I began to experience the real world with all kinds of people, with all kinds of ideas and the world of possibilities opened up to me. I spent lots of time in libraries and brought home 10 to 15 books at a time studying a variety of subjects. I was like a starved animal gobbling up information about one subject after another. I read that computers could do more calculations in a minute than a man with a calculator could do in 200 years, I was hooked.
        I was absorbing massive amounts of information but what if I could use a computer? It was a no brainer for me. I took a computer programming course and was hired the day I graduated to work in the biggest data center in Washington State for the government.
        I read your profile and most of your comments, I see you have had a very colorful past also. We are all such interesting and complex organisms, I love to meet and learn from other people. I hope I answered at least your first question.
  • thumb
    Oct 16 2013: if you let them makes you loosing your goodness it's mean they break you twice ,loosing the experience and yourself ,loosing an experience in life not like the experience makes you loosing yourself,first you must learn everything you can by experiences of course and you doing the goal that one day (nothing will break me again ) for the fllexibility we need every human in his real life,you'll find your way to fight the evil until your last breath with honour if you'll never seeing this day...will give you the satisfaction and the peace which turn you in true happiness which is the best wish can Every Man wish it from the life ,Thank you
  • Oct 16 2013: Don't follow the news. And whatever you do, don't study history--there's stuff in the history books that makes the Syrian civil war look a stroll through the park.

    On a more serious note, it might be better to accept humanity for what it is. Personally, I've chucked the concept of universal morality into the garbage a few years back; its all relative, and its all got no universal meaning beyond what we attribute to it artificially.
    The world is a hell of a headache to start figuring out once you're stopped trying to sort it out into good or evil, but you get a much more realistic world view for it. Absolute morality is something you teach children who can't handle complex concepts yet.

    Besides, there are benefits to lack of trust in your fellow man. You're much harder to scam, for a start.
  • thumb
    Oct 16 2013: Read: http://positivenews.org.uk/; it's the only news I read these days.
    Give away your TV (I haven't had one for 15 years - I don't miss it at all).
    There are lots of good people out there, indeed the vast majority.
  • thumb
    Oct 16 2013: well, my first thought is that some of the basic comforts of life you enjoy come from humanity. For instance, do you buy food in a store, or restaurant? Well, humans grew that food, humans harvested it, processed it, transported it, cooked it. Do you buy clothes? Humans grew that cotton, or made that material, processed it, turned it into clothes. Do you have shelter that was made by someone else? Same story. So that might be a reason to like humans.

    Beyond that, which evil are you talking about, evil in your relationships with the people around you, or evil in the world at large? What are the evils you are experiencing? Maybe your job is to fight the evil, it may not be easy to feel good toward other people, you may have to try to change things you don't like, and that can take a lot of work and risk, maybe you will spend your whole life doing it. Also, you can keep in the back of your mind that sometimes when people seem to be doing evil, they are teaching us something, we can benefit from it.

    So how will you fight evil?
    • thumb
      Oct 17 2013: Well I don't know those people who work so that I can buy and have the things that I needed therefore I don't think of the positively or negatively. In some point I was referring to the world at large however my main point is the people around me.Going away from these people perhaps will give me a break but at the same time it requires a big work and risk as you say. We can learn from one mistake but how about 2 3 4 5...? Everything seems so redundant. You forgive and they will do something again. They said Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. I don't think it works anymore.
      • thumb
        Oct 17 2013: well, then, Doris, the problem isn't that you've lost faith in humanity as a whole, it's only that you're unhappy with some people right around you. Are these people in your family, or friends? Well, it's a bit hard for me to comment without knowing you well, or the people well. And also you have not told us what this evil is that they have done to you, is this correct, they have done it to you, not to someone else? Well, I can think of two options. One is to lessen or stop your contact with these people, this is easier with friends than with family, but you can do it with family also. The other is to talk to them about the incident, tell them what you perceive happened and ask them for the explanation. But if you've already done this before and it hasn't helped, maybe it is time to reduce your contact with them. Do you live with your family? If they are really treating your horribly, can you move out?
        • thumb
          Oct 17 2013: I wish I could answer all your questions... Because of what I been going through with the people around me it is easy for me to conclude how evil humans are every time I heard or see other hurting other or how human are being evil and selfish as a whole. Reducing my contact with them is possible but how about after that? It might hard to trust to other people again risking my trust to be broken once more.
      • thumb
        Oct 18 2013: re I wish I could answer all your questions. Well, I would say that the next time you will be a little wiser, you can reduce your contact with these people who hurt you, next time because of your experience you will be able to avoid it, you will see it coming sooner and avoid it altogether or at least not have it happen so many times with the same person. Am I right? Also, I'm thinking, Doris, that while we do have to show some trust in other people, there are also ways that we can make a more scientific judgement about them, or gather evidence about them, so that our trust is not just blind faith, it is based on some evidence. It's kind of hard to say how that might work in your case because you don't want to reveal the specifics of your situation. But I'm sure with time you will learn how to make judgements based on more evidence. At the same time, intuition can help you judge people, if you feel uncomfortable with a person your feelings are very likely correct.
        Another thought is to get some kind of counseling, either talk to a person you do trust or talk to a psychologist, or some will say talk to a priest but I'm not very religious so I'm not sure about that. Here in the States we have advice columns in the newspaper, you could write to them, here we have telephone lines where you can call and talk about almost any subject to people who will listen, some of them are volunteers and some are paid. Or you could read books on this subject, I'm sure authors have written about how to handle relationships after some people have broken your trust. A librarian might help you find these books. Here in the states there are some advice shows on the radio where a person can call and talk about a situation and get some advice.
        If these ideas don't help let me know and I'll try to think of some others. What is your biography, are you working, going to school, living at home, on your own?
  • thumb
    Nov 3 2013: You don't need to have faith in humanity.
    You can just be positive and be an example for others.

    If you would like to do the math on good versus evil: humans are more good than evil (see Steve Pinker, or any sociologist, or look at how many stores and services there are compared to the number of people wanting to take something from you without providing a service for you first). There are more nurses and teachers than rapists and murderers.

    You can feel doomed and helpless about all the sadness and problems in the world... does this make you inclined to add to it? Do you conclude: ok, I'll start killing people, robbing them, scold them or worse? or does this sadness compel you to do your part of goodness?

    On a large space or time-scale, all our actions are insignificant, but scale it to your daily life, and any good action gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, and might even restore your faith in those people around you.
  • thumb

    im boo

    • 0
    Nov 2 2013: Take a break from the internet, television and the news.
    Get out in nature and exercise like hiking out there and hear the sound of the ocean if you can; just the wind and sun on your face. Nature is one of my biggest inspirations. Vow to every day seek out something unexpectedly beautiful. Don't forget to look up at the clouds, the stars at night, the moon...I'm 56 and picked up a caterpillar the other day and have him in a jar; this Spring one coccoon hatched for me and a huge beautiful silk moth emerged. I was like a happy child with that moth in my hands, wondering about the miracle of how it transformed into something so beautiful. Every day try to find reasons to laugh. I look up jokes to tell others, I get joy from making people smile and laugh. Set short and long term goals for yourself, and daily lists of things you'd like to accomplish just for the day. You'll feel more fulfilled if you focus on your goals and make self-improvement and personal growth high on your list. Self-Actualization: look it up; it is what we should focus on. Focus on the intangibles, not material things. Hug often. Touch others, be it a touch on their shoulder, take a hand of someone looking worried and tell them it will be alright. Reach out to those less fortunate than you; you will receive a kinder response from others and benefit from shedding light into the worlds of people that need that. Assholes are everywhere, its part of life. Know the good people outnumber the bad. Get out of your comfort zone and mix with new people by volunteering, joining a group - something where you get fresh new feedback from objective people who don't know you. Ask people for ideas and suggestions. A counselor might help. Tune up your senses. Put essential oils in your home and car; relax more. Do deep breathing. Elevate your consciousness. Pray for those that bother you.
  • W T 100+

    • 0
    Oct 22 2013: Perhaps this 4 minute talk by Viktor Frankl may help you.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/viktor_frankl_youth_in_search_of_meaning.html
  • thumb
    Oct 20 2013: You can try to find any inspirations outside... If you lived by experience and feelings the "bad side" of humans, and so humanity... You must to go at the very middle of yourself to recover it. This "being" of the middle of yourself is the only one who can restore it. If i were you, i would enter in contact with a spiritual personn. I'm sure in your country (philippines) you have this sort of people. This kind of people who open your soul in two in front of you and show you, Life, Infinite, and Beauty and place it right into your heart. Please, hang on, Sister. From the other part of the World, France, in the middle of the fields and the forest, Vanina.
  • thumb
    Oct 19 2013: It is worth repeating. Never ever watch TV. Throw it out. Burn it. Banish it. (After a while, you´ll wonder how other people ever find time to watch it).
    • thumb
      Oct 19 2013: Basically don't listen to mainstream media at all... Instead go sites like TED and Reddit to get the good stuff that's happening.
    • thumb
      Oct 21 2013: Tom and Jimmy,
      Although I don't think we need to throw the TV out, it is certainly a good idea to limit use of it. In the winter months, I sometimes watch documentaries, nature & science presentations, and world news on public TV.

      The TV is off for about 6 months in the summer, when more outside activities take precedence:>) If there is something I want to learn more about, it's really easy to get information on the internet. And, of course, TED is a good resource for information as well. What we focus on is a choice:>)
  • thumb
    Oct 18 2013: Along the lines of Keith's video, here is another: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwAYpLVyeFU

    Interestingly, there are only five TED talks that have had more views than this "Kindness Boomerang."
  • thumb
    Oct 17 2013: Be 'in service'.
  • Comment deleted

  • Oct 17 2013: Disillusionment is the last illusion.
    Sometimes falling to pieces is the way to be put back together again.
    Please realize that what you see is not human nature.
    It is human behavior and it is a perverted behavior in many ways and instances
    because there are way too many people who are not getting their needs met.

    It is not simply a case of people being selfish, jealous, evil or hurtful, etc. by nature.

    This is because we all live in unjust systems that are run, thrive and gorge themselves
    on corruption.
    Finally, and simply, the hidden (well, not so hidden), fuel that drives all of this is fear
    and believing the lies and fear-mongering those in power drench us with daily, soaking
    our psyches so much so, that no more many be taken in or absorbed and thus, it spills over onto
    others.

    The world is insane and functions as so. The pressure is intense to become insane like everyone else
    so that you don't feel as affected by it and the comfort that one will feel when they are insane like everyone
    else so that they can no longer spot it, feel it or be bothered by it.

    Take solace and be grateful that you are not insane and can still spot it. Look for the truth, find your own truth and
    then to thine own self be true. You can certainly gain strength by seeing the sad weakness in others and maintain
    your own humanity by loving, sharing and helping others, where and when you can, to wake up from the deep sleep they are walking around in.

    Ultimately, you are all right no matter what happens.
    Trust what you know. What do you know?
    If you know it, then trust it. If you trust it, then don't worry.
    Something good will happen. If it doesn't? Don't worry.
    Something bad will happen.
    You are all right.
    You won't have a nervous breakdown.
    You'll have a nervous breakthrough.
    Something we all need.
    You are not alone.