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Drawing reference from indigenous traditions and stories, there are many aspects of life that one can learn about regarding religion and theology. As much as some cases such as the Eagle boy’s case may be fictional, they open up new dimensions of living and perceptions that relate to religion and theology. There are crucial lessons to be learnt where the family and faith are the core aspects in human lives. In the case of Innu, we find alternatives to medical healing where the grandmother says that her health is rejuvenated after taking long walks and she invites people to join her in the walk of charity and gracing other people’s lives as they make theirs great too. From these two instances, there are vital lessons for the reader where some of them are outlines in this paper.
Form these two cases, there are two lessons that are clear to the reader and can be easily pointed out in the two cases. The aspect of faith and social responsibility are depicted with clarity in these two accounts. In eagle’s boy case, the boy believes in the eagle even more than the parents, brothers and the work (Caduto and Bruchac). He dedicates all his time and love to the eagle for no concrete reason. On the other hand despite there being health providers in Innu, the grandmother believes more in taking her walk as a way of building her body and defending herself from disease. She believes that everyone should be encouraged to do the same. These are great shows of faith from the two accounts.
Nature of faith
Faith entails having complete belief in something even without enough reason. In both religion and traditions, there are accounts where people believe in certain things without a good explanation as to why. In other times, one can develop faith towards something because of the benefits they have witnessed from interacting with that thing. Faith in traditions and philosophy is not dependent on reason but in religion, reason plays a great deal in the development of faith. This therefore means that there are two types of faith namely fideism and evidentialism. Fideism is the type of believe that claims faith and reason are distinct. It simply implies that faith does not depend on evidence or description hence it is irrational. On the other hand evidentialism states that faith is dependent on reason which makes it rational. A good religious faith should therefore be base of evidentialism which gives substantial evidence of the existence of God and hence gives the believers the reason to believe.
The types of faith portrayed in Eagle’s boy and Innu are distinct such that the boy in Eagle’s Boy had so much faith in the eagle without reason. The eagle added no value to the boy but he spent all his time caring for it. This type of faith is that of fideism and it can be regarded to be irrational. On the other hand, the grandmother in Innu believed in the walks she was making more than going to the hospital. She believed that the walks gave her better health and a purpose of life when helping other people. This type of faith is in all ways evidentialism. This is because despite the grandmother’s assertions of the walk helping her, it is evident that the grandmother did not fall ill and neither did she seek medical help from the hospital (Tailon and Joan). This is the type of faith that religion is based on where there is substantial reason for believing in something.
Although critics may argue that God does not exist based on the sufferings that people face every day, faith in Christianity leads believers to acknowledge God as all knowing and all powerful which means God can choose to do what He wants and he has the ability to stop certain things from happening in order to save his people. Faith is therefore applicable in our day to day lives. it however depends on what faith one believes in. it is unfair to define religious faith as faith without reason because most believers develop faith for their God based on merit and reasons illustrates in the faith. It should also be noted that faith is not only a claim of the existence of God but also applies to many aspects of human living. Based on the two accounts, the most suitable definition tor faith would therefore be trusting in something based on substantial reasons. This is because at the end of the two cases, the faith of Eagle’s boy only took him to an average level and he later returned to his initial life because the faith he had on the eagle was irrational (Caduto and Bruchac). The grandmother of Innu on the other hand has rational faith in walking and helping others and this has greatly impacted her health positively.
Why is Faith Important?
When things fail to work out as planned, humans are most likely to lose hope and faith in that thing. Monumental failure has the ability to kill someone’s faith and make them lose hope in life. Primarily, faith is the anticipation of better things to happen. Faith is mostly in the spirit and heart of a person but hope is in more of what the mind of a person can conceptualize. This makes faith a complex aspect that cannot be explained in simple dimensions. Faith keeps a person going even when faced with adversities in the things that they do. In the two accounts, the faith that Eagle’s boy had and the faith that the Innu grandmother had kept them going and believing that whatever they were doing was for a better good. The Innu grandmother even declares that whatever she does is difficult and challenging but in it she finds joy and happiness (Tailon and Joan). Faith gives us the hope of life and a promise of a better tomorrow. It is hard to comprehend how life would have been if faith was nonexistent since we put our faith in almost all aspects of our living. We do not know what will happen in the next minute or the next hour but we keep planning for things that we are going to do at a later date. This is a simple explanation that faith as illustrated in the two accounts is a key aspect of our lives.
The eagle’s boy had great faith in the eagle that he accepted to abandon his people and fly away with the eagle. This is one of the greatest shows of faith. He had faith that the eagle would not let him fall or else take him to a hostile place. Eagle’s boy demonstrates a great account of faith by accepting to accompany the eagle to a place that he had no complete knowledge about (Caduto and Bruchac).
On the other hand, one of the themes that have been illustrated in these two accounts is social responsibility. In eagles boy, villagers and the family member all had a social obligation of working in the corn and melon fields, a responsibility that eagle’s boy ignores owing to his affection to the eagle and his dedication to caring for it. On the other hand the nurse in Innu hospital represents a humane person with the heart of serving the society with dignity and love (Tailon and Joan). She foregoes her employment at Innu because she feels that she is not serving the society in the right way. The grandmother at Innu is also a social responsible lady who cares for the less fortunate and looks forward for the betterment of the society as a whole. She does this by asking the nurse to tell people why she takes her walks and at the same time help the less fortunate she comes across. Social responsibility is a virtue that has been depicted in the two accounts as one of the aspects of social cohesion. When eagle’s boy forewent his social responsibilities, he faced criticism from all his close relatives and the society. On the other hand, the nurse at Innu finds it necessary to avail her expertise to the society through quitting her job that blocked her from serving the people in a fulfilling manner. Social responsibly gives people a sense of belonging by adding value to the lives of other people. Indigenous traditions and accounts are a great source of lessons and virtues and how they add value to the human life as is the case with the two cases of Eagle’s boy and Innu Grandmother.
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