An Atheist’s Perspective
December 12, 2009 § 12 Comments
“I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
Every year at around this time I feel the need to reflect on the year passed, and be thankful. While this may be trite, I do see the end of years celebrations as an important time, a time for reflection. We all feel it to some degree.
Why is it that we feel the need to reflect and be thankful? It’s a weird sensation, because I don’t have a God to thank for my existence. I don’t believe in a creator, or a benevolent overseer, so I can’t thank The Almighty. But what I can do, as a human and a social being, is be thankful to the real, the tangible, and the sentient in my life. The people I call mine, and who accept me as theirs. The teachers, the thinkers, the lovers and the visionaries. These are the real influences in my life, like gravity and sunlight. These things affect me, these things give me hope, these things keep me motivated to live, and try, and do.
When I think about it, the end of the year doesn’t really mean anything. Being that the calendar is a human construct devised to help us keep track of our lives, the end of year is really just a celebration of one more rotation of our humble little planet around our star. The earth will continue to circle the sun, as it has done for billions of years, until our long after humans have disappeared. We spin and spin through space, coming from nowhere in particular, and heading to who knows where. My purist self sees the end of year as merely a marker.
But I still get caught up in the reverie, and the end of year becomes an opportunity to hope for a better future and reminisce about the past, about the people and places that make my life special. It’s a time when I can be with those I love and celebrate their existences, a time to gather with those who love me unconditionally and whom I love in the same way. Thanking those who matter in my life is a way for me to put my life in perspective, and perspective drives me, keeps me moving and keeps me motivated. This is an important thing for us all to do, no matter what we choose to believe.