Mahatma Gandhi

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” This quote from Mahatma Gandhi sounds nice; it tries to help people to reach out for the positive in spite of negative things that are around. One wants to see the world this way because one doesn’t want to lose faith in humanity. Otherwise life appears to be meaningless, as everything turns out to be bad. But is the quote true? Is there reason enough to build your faith on the goodness of humanity? Are all the wars, the Holocaust and other genocides only “a few drops” of the ocean? Or on a smaller scale – is all the lying, cheating and injustice around us only a drop compared to the ocean of good human deeds in our societies?

Looking at reality in this world this seems hard to believe. Mankind, humanity is corrupt through and through. Putting one’s hope and faith in a corrupt humanity will ultimately lead to disappointment or cynicism. But I don’t think that it is necessary to “believe in humanity” for doing good or keeping hope in life. Believing in the goodness of God and in His transforming power in the lives of men will give hope regardless of the circumstances in this world. That is the kind of attitude that made Martin Luther say: “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”