Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One life is enough

There is no blackboard in the sky on which God has written your purpose, your mission in life. There's no blackboard in the sky that says, Neil Donald Walsch... handsome guy... who lived in the first part of the twenty-first century who, colon... and then there's a blank, you know. And all I have to do to really understand what I'm doing here, why I'm here, is to find that blackboard and find out what God really has in mind for me. But the blackboard doesn't exist. 
So your purpose is what you say it is. 
Your mission is the mission you give yourself. 
Your life will be what you create it as, and no-one will stand in judgement of it, now or ever. - Neale Donald Walsch
Even when I did believe, faith was never what gave my life meaning. Life is about making it meaningful for yourself. Even when I did believe, I was a skeptic and couldn’t be certain I would get into Heaven, or that there was an afterlife at all, so it made little sense to shun worldly pleasures for a life of austere piety, gambling everything on a promise of a reward someday in eternity, easily 60, 70 years away. And, really, why would God give us this precious gift of life and expect us not to make the most of it? Perhaps I’ve always been a hedonist.

So here I find myself, an agnostic atheist. I can acknowledge that It’s entirely possible God does exist, but I just don’t care because it obviously doesn’t care about me or this planet, and I’m definitely not going to believe in an almighty creator petty enough to require the worship and adoration of its creation.

I can honestly say I’m not afraid of death. (Pain and suffering are another matter entirely.) I’ve lived a damn cool life: traveled the world, fallen in love, enjoyed fabulous food, swum with sharks, finished a half marathon, created art and learned many things. Sure, there’s more awesome stuff I’d like to see and do, but this life really is good enough. It’s unfortunate that people who care for me will miss me, but I’ll be dead so I can’t really care. Living forever doesn’t appeal to me.

"Do you believe in immortality? No, and one life is enough for me." -Einstein

“Kindness” covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.

And Shel Silverstein:

“Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.”

I’ve made some people happy and made some people think. And that is definitely enough. I’ve seen beautiful sights and that is a bonus, more than most can hope for.

1 comment:

  1. I like that philosophy. Mine is to try and leave more positive in the world than when I came into it. I don't know what happens next and if I am happy with what I've done now.. then it shouldn't really matter all that much.