Faith Restored
December 3, 2018 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Is the "restoration of faith in humanity" a contemporary meme? Have people/media outfits in other periods of existential despair tried to "restore [others'] faith in humanity" through sharing proto-memes about inspiring events/people?

Especially interested in the specific language of "this will restore your faith in humanity." Though maybe other variants were used?

I found some early references in Google Books of people/characters saying their own faith in humanity was restored, but I'm curious about its use as a prescription for helping others.
posted by waninggibbon to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
As an addendum: I mean outside of religious contexts. Think a historical Upworthy or /r/HumansBeingBros.
posted by waninggibbon at 6:49 PM on December 3, 2018


TV tropes might offer examples.
posted by enfa at 4:59 AM on December 4, 2018


The modern incarnation re:inspiring content can be traced to the Buzzfeed article 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity that went mega-viral in June 2012, though as a contemporaneous Slate piece shows, it only popularized a usage that already had some currency on the web.

(As a hackneyed phrase, it's far older than the Internet -- dialogue database Subzin shows usage, both serious and sarcastic, dating back to the 1930s, and Google Books goes all the way back to the 19th century, where it's largely religious.)
posted by Rhaomi at 5:04 AM on December 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


I wonder if print, radio, or TV news publications ever used the phrase regularly to share BuzzFeed-worthy snippets.

Like, "Sure the Great Depression's a bummer, but this story of a little street urchin sharing his only bread with a hungry stray dog will restore your faith in the Goodness of Man."
posted by waninggibbon at 7:30 AM on December 4, 2018


Over on weird facebook there are groups like "We Are All God's Children and He Left Us Alone in A Hot Car" and their counterpart "This Post Alone Rolled Down The Window For Five Minutes," and I've seen "rolling down the window" as an equivalent to "restore faith in humanity" popping up now and again.
posted by mmmbacon at 9:09 AM on December 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


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