In my post from June 7, Bringing Faith Back Into the Picture, I explored the need for organizations to use the faith based communities in making their organizations stronger. After some more exploration, I realized that it is not just organizations which need to examine faith but also individuals. Recently, I finished reading Mitch Albom’s newest book, Have a Little Faith, which explored Mitch’s journey while he was trying to write a eulogy for his childhood rabbi. The nonfiction book examines the lives of Albom’s rabbi and a pastor in Detroit and how Albom’s work with both changed his life. Both clergy men have very different stories on how they arrived to their profession but the underlying theme is their faith.
After finishing the book, I began to ask myself why people decide to work in the nonprofit sector. Is it because they were touched by a certain event in their life (ie. a family member dying from a disease) or is it for the recognition? Or is it because of our faith? Not necessarily our faith in a certain religion but our faith that our work will change the world. In my masters program, there are people of all different faiths and ideas on religion. The one thing that connects all of us is our desire to bring change to our communities or to international communities. Each of us believes that with more education, we will have the skills needed to be stronger individuals to bring a greater change.
Faith is an underlying theme in everything we do. We move for a job because we have faith that our lives will improve by taking the risk. We start dating someone because we have the faith that they will help us become better in our own lives. We buy certain products (ie. Apple Ipods) because we have faith that the product will live up to its name.
For Mitch Albom, he grew up Jewish, attended a Jewish day school and married… a non-Jew. He felt he would let down his rabbi because he hadn’t kept his faith. However in exploring the rabbi’s life and meeting the pastor, Albom began to believe again. He saw how people’s faith is tied to hope and how with a little work, a community can begin to change. With his new found appreciation for faith, Albom formed an organization to raise money for the pastor to patch a hole in his sanctuary.
Instead of running from our own faith, we should use it to benefit the nonprofit world. We should not be ashamed of what we believe in or how it is helping us make a difference in our community. So what if our faith comes from our belief in a higher being? Each of us believes in something or we wouldn’t be doing what we do.
Have a little faith that what you are doing will bring change to your community, your organization and you!