I had the amazing privilege to attend a lecture with my husband tonight. The speaker of note was a man I've come to greatly admire since hearing (seeing, actually) his story on the big screen in 2004. If you don't know it, learn his name now: Paul Rusesabagina, the real life hotel manager whose story is told in the movie Hotel Rwanda. If you haven't seen the movie, please go rent it. I can no more tell his story in my own words than I can build the Eiffel Tower with my own hands. To give a nutshell summary though, Mr. Rusesabagina transformed his hotel into a refugee camp and saved over 1,000 lives during the horrific genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
He said that no person is completely evil. He said that every heart has a soft spot in it somewhere and we must learn to touch it. This from a man who has seen and lived through what others easily describe as hell. These words from a man who witnessed murder and brutality and countless random acts of violence. This from a man who was the only thing standing between his family and certain death. No person is completely evil? Every heart has a soft spot?
That's what I call faith in humanity. Here's someone who has all the evidence of the contrary but chooses to believe that people are basically good. It is the choices they make that are evil but somewhere in everyone there is good. No one would dare say that Mr. Rusesabagina "looks at the world through rose colored glasses" or pooh pooh his statements away saying "he's just an optimist". No. This is someone who has seen the real world as it really is - all the good and way too much bad - and has come to know that there is the capacity for good in all people, no matter what.
"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." - Ephesians 6:12SIDE NOTES: The picture above is from the Global Family Rescue (GFR) website. They're the sponsorship organization for families in Rwanda that brought Paul Rusesabagina to speak. Although he's internationally famous, he waived his speaker's fee and let all the money raised go to GFR. After the program guests were given the opportunity to donate money or sponsor families through GFR and Tony and I helped collect these donations. There were over a dozen volunteers like us in the auditorium (1000+ people packed the house) but he and I alone collected forms for 5 family sponsorships and over $1300 in one time donations. The generosity of the people there - so willing to open their hearts and wallets to the people of Rwanda - was yet further evidence of Mr. Rusesabagina's faith in humanity. Check out the link above to GFR's website to find out more about saving lives worldwide!!