Cross The Line

Never tell other people about your personal problems.

Never ever reveal how vulnerable you are to situations found common in every life.

Never expose yourself to others.

I have been told by family and strangers also that my problems, any person’s problem, are to be kept private. We, generally typing here, may feel inclined to inquire about a person’s woes and sorrows but that is only ‘polite’. No one wishes to be burden by what we all go through, especially at present.

No one wish to know that you too are struggling to afford rent, mortgage or a bill necessary to shelter life.

If you ever mention your troubles with work, finding a job adequate or simple enough to afford the necessities…find yourself chasing after a person to listen.

Why is that the case with our society? To avoid troubles and difficulties of others, yet to demand a persuasion of happiness.

If we are not creating an illusion, then why must we speak? Motivational speakers in our everyday life speak of overcoming a situation with applause in agreement. Don’t speak of it, simply overcome in order to prove that ‘this too shall pass’.

I’ll tell you something here: I want to listen.

Tell me more about your situation-a bank teller that smiles all day until you inquire more about her. She struggles to financially support her children.

A homeless man sits at the same corner all day and all night, until you inquire as to why he sits. He lost his way years ago, as a veteran and husband.

A crew member working alone to provide service to customers coming in all direction. She’s yelled at and scoffed; considered to be too incompetent. She was convinced by her manager that if she can handle this then a promotion will be handed to her. Disappointed now as she remains in her current position until quitting day.

A man steals and is caught. In jail he faces his time and I’ll ask why. He couldn’t afford what was needed so he took the items instead. So I ask, why not ask a stranger if they could help you with a purchase? To ask is to be considered a burden and and more of a reason for them to clutch their purses tighter. Not to be judgmental necessarily but to warn off those that have reached the breaking point they’ll never consider.

I find this all to be peculiarly devastating. Rallying in the polls we demand a politician to represent our interest to overcome. Though so polarized, one believes the other is not adequately heard by simple slight difference of opinion. A slight disagreement to alleviate the suffering of all others. This then, creates a bubble of arguments on top of the issue we all share. We are all troubled and struggling in some way and at some point in our lives.

You know, we could allow time to actively listen. If we can pull together in times of national crisis televised then we can do so for any and all people. To consider one stranger as person, then to understand that person being no different than our self.



Corruption begins when a person thinks of their self and personal afflictions. Corruption continues because this person cannot keep their own secret. They must share it and share with someone feeling obligated to comply to a demand.

You do this for me because I do for you. What you do for me, I’ll ensure to return the favor.

Lies are spun from the first panic effort to now a routine of lies to justify a system. Honesty, then, is seen as a threat and the first to reveal the lies are now a conflict of interest.

What you have done is complicate my benefit. What I will do to you is now a misplaced truth.

Guilty conscience is taught by nurture, for the most part, so we cannot lie or do so for long. We must tell, if ever the truth is told. We must reveal now but blame it on the most fair among us.

He did it and this is how it was done. I would have said something but to say anything at all would make me a target.

Some think to comply is more just than to be seen as an accomplice. The benefits seems to be like a cherry, in order to not consider the dire consequences.

The lost of a job, a career, a home, a family and any honor to your name is less important than the cherry on top.

And then to feel the bearing weight of a system crashing down on the tune of your whistle is seemingly too much to witness.

There is always a chance to evade consequences if someone else is to blame.

Here I think, why go through the trouble?

If you are stressed for money, why not choose honesty?

If you are stressed for an opportunity, why not choose honesty?

And if you are ever pressed to participate in either, then why not expose the selfish?

The attention is drawn to you and that is nerve racking. To speak up for oneself is nerve racking, however it is necessary if you ever want to clear your name. Make it be known to all that I care for integrity. I want for better, yet I’m not desperate. My actions are usually justified in its truth.

Let it be known what you stand for if so or if not pressured another way.


Online dating has become a new way to stare at someone from across the bar, the room, the Mall, the way without actually speaking. We may appreciate the beauty but never to stop and say hello… You never know if the person staring back at you screams internally with all signals pointing ‘yes’. ‘Yes please speak to me, introduce yourself and be as awkward as you can be, so we may speak of this again when asked’. 

It’s become a pointless matter of ‘likes’. Perhaps on my end it’s a matter of ‘likes’ without a message. A kind indicator that they are intrigued, interested but never a message. A simple way to let you know that they are curious though not that interested, so I take it upon myself to message first. 

Thoughtful messages worded as questions to women that read but never reply. They are not interested for sure but as well hinting that I’m a terrible flirt. I’m too technical, too serious, too textbook and like a teacher asking you about something you’ve written but cannot explain. So I ask ‘why do you enjoy this subject, book or author?’ She most likely will not reply but if she does it’s along the lines of ‘oh I’ve mentioned something that I’ve forgotten’. Or sometimes ‘oh what are you talking about?’ And so the conversations end before they begin. 
Though there are few others that’ll happily message back until each one die off as if we had never seemed intrigued. I’m puzzled here. I had asked one person a question instead of guessing and assuming common disinterest. So I had asked her ‘Why do you seem less inclined to talk with me?’ 

Her answer summarized as: 

The way you asked the question. Why do you have to try so hard to ask or to say something. Like I can tell that you are intelligent but you don’t need to be that deep. And I come from a long day and the last thing I need to read is a message I have to break down to get what you want. When I do answer it’s not enough for you and sometimes I can’t respond really with what you’re giving me. So I thought to let the conservations die slowly. 

I’ll be honest to say my feelings were hurt. I took to deleting every word or link to who I am as a person. I left my profile blank with only a single picture and my gender and relationship preference listed. I became more sadden that once I had deleted everything about myself and what I wanted the ‘likes’ increased exponentially within 10 minutes. 

My feelings were hurt as this is a common criticism that has followed me from childhood. I’m speaking mere friendship seeking on the playground as I had no one but I couldn’t relate to the other children and they too couldn’t relate to me. As one girl came up to me and said ‘this is why no one likes you’ and throughout years ’til graduation day she never liked me. I’m confused; I didn’t understand what was the matter with me. And over time I realized by the questions I was asked from elementary school to high school that they assumed everything false. 

I’ve never thought highly of myself in terms of intelligence and manner of speaking. I speak and write a certain way but I didn’t know it was so different from the way others speak and write until I was told and asked. I understand you just fine regardless of your vernacular or broken English I understand you; therefore no need on my end to mock you.  I never actually thought anything more or less of you. How do I explain that when I meet a person my mind is free of judgement, entirely blank until you fill in my mind of who you are. I will speak to you as I speak to everyone-with clarity and without assumption. No I’m not trying hard to word my responses or questions as this manner of speaking is clear and concise to me. 

But all others read and hear are riddles. As my mom asked my brother and I ‘why do y’all talk in riddles?’ An air of quiet as I sat to think what did she mean… I lookto my brother to see if he was just as confused. A blank expression upon his face. I don’t know but what I say to you seems direct. What I ask seems like an indication that a conversation is wanted. The simple fact that I’m speaking to you, sharing my experience and the like is a way to produce a response for a conversation to flow naturally. However to you and most people this is an oddity. 

I’m a firm beleiver that I should be able to be myself as I relate to other people. But then I find that people like me best when I at least try to speak and behave as they do. A headache for sure as I have to actually think and try to be vague-in my mind over simplicity. To have short burst of phrases and one worded responses, or else to read a few sentences punctuated is equivalent to a boring chapter read in that one class yesterday.  Then I think it sad to read that a  few sentences is considered a chore by most people. 

Well then if how I express myself is not to your liking then most kindly I’m not for you. I’m coming to accept that I’m not for most people. 

As I go over previous relationships, as bitter memories as they are, they all told me the same. I deserve someone better or someone like myself. Someone more understanding and appreciative that this quirky woman would like to share the world and the night sky with her. So I am sadden, but I’ll wait.

Free Time

I’ve thought of a few short stories to write over the course of days. The subjects are varied, though all relating to some abstact thought. The summary of them all is that my mind is longing for an ever presence that will transcend time. At this moment I think of how to adequately express what I am writing first in my journal. What I am to present here for mild interest. What I wish to make known to the world in writing will not be justified here. Instead what I wish to relate requires hours of patience and understanding.  

Ditto on love said that we seek immortality. Meaning once we have come to understand that childhood last briefly, we see the time to do something last a short life. The world is full of wonder and inspiration yet so little time to experience it all. And so we find ways to matter to someone, to a whole of society. I think that is what I seek too… to make my presence known and to make an impact of some kind. 

As of now I’m looking over my left shoulder. A spontaneous decision some days ago for a tattoo. It’s a moon, closer to the reality we may view at night. Underneath are Greek letters saying “you’re missing without me”. What it means is something I wish to witness myself. Time to move forward, to change. As I-as a person without a physical sense-to witness something remarkable while timeless. I wish to witness the impossible with no one else to tell. Perhaps a summation of what I’m thinking, what all I wish to write is a sense of longing. 


“Love is a divinely implanted impulse that subconsciously impels people to pursue immortality through having children, creating  enduring works of art, and making lasting contributions to society”

Ladder of Love, The Philosophy Book 

I’m writing a book about the purpose of our existence. This includes works in religion, religious thought and other religious philosophy that served as a precursor to human preoccupation of self.  In the mean time of reading and writing  I’ll come across a thought that should be shared. In this instance, the notion of immortality. Or actually how we as human beings place a greater importance onto and about our existence. One greater example is that of love. 

Love as an emotion, a desire that we may either feel or create first for ourself. Self-centered creaures that assume the world was meant for the individual. So we make a mark, an impression onto someone or something. In this age of social media, instant gratification and selfies I find that we take pictures of ourself out of self love and appreciation. Another reason to make a mark that ‘I, too, exist’ and feel important. Another way to make an impression that will last until the individual deletes or the media site has declined in popularity. 

Generations older are critics of this form of self love. Though this is no different than the story of Achilles and others like him taught that death is glorious when in battle. Especially one who has survived many battles and have the scars to prove-ancient Greek gratification. Older generations have had their means of doing so as well-something so minor as appearing before a crowded scene well dressed and rehearsed. 

Then we have media to showcase an act of kindness. Something that U.S. citizens as a whole are skeptical of the act of kindness. Whoever reveals with camera on ‘record’ of a life saved is instantly praised, hearted and liked. Liked and loved by the thousands actually-the person has gone viral. How rare it is to find someone that will forget their time? Sometimes forget their self even to rescue, to hug, to provide free services and access and to build a connection. 

There are critics to for all. ‘Why did a camera have to place a major role in this person helping another person?’ Then as a rebuttal ‘we need to be able to share acts of kindness to remind ourselves of humanity’ is essentially the back and forth summary of hundreds to thousands of comments on one news article. What happened? A depressed teenager found herself in a hair salon with her hair left unkempt. The hairdresser then decides to give her a makeover with a picture to share on social media. There is a comment further down asking, though typed as a statement, ‘why is this newsworthy?’ We are here to make a lasting, important impression that people matter and that we notice that someone is need of that reminder.

Even when in decline to love oneself, or depression, we find that we still place a greater importance of ourself. Whenever in this state one may say that they do not matter to the world, to society, immediate associates and family members. In this assumption still lies the need to feel important, a reminder in someone’s mind. In love lost one may assume a former partner to still love and require a reminder of that suppressed feeling. In some way the individual will make themselves important or wanting to make a lasting impression. 

And I think it is important enough to mention that this quote was told to have been stated by a woman. A woman whose existence is in question, though a name is given. Existing in a period of time in a Greek society that regarded women as inferior silent creatures, to read a female’s voice on a thought not written by her own hand. Instead restated by a man that claimed of her existence, a woman that gave him a lasting impression on the teachings of love. 

Before You Waste Her Time

I’m training a new team member twice my age. She tells me of heart ache and troubles everyone seem to suffer through lately. She’s part of the homeless that swear and beg for hours to pay for the extended stay hotels in Gwinnett County. 

In telling me about her situation; a corporate worker lost her job and home in a financial bind. Her eldest daughter is miles away in another state, desperate and heart broken. The daughter left to be with a man in age only, to live and to grow together. But as all relationships, really, they end. Her daughter is now depressed, in distress attempting suicide almost. I told the lady that’s my situation too. 

I didn’t travel miles to be with her, just decided to live with her in the current city.  I was warned and cautioned but it was love I told myself. I told her since you know me since I relayed all that I am on a dating site. The only means I may find someone. I took to a dating site for a serious relationship. Not a fairy tale forever, but something that will grow and last as we mature and understand the other. Apparently, despite her education being equal to my own, failed at reading and listening comprehension. A roller coaster of emotions about situations that I had told her that I been through before, yet nothing came of it. Reassured after a powwow and again…that everything is fine and that she wished to marry me. I continued with high hopes. It’s like what music tells me that relationships are a struggle, but so long as we struggle together for positive it’ll be well worth the time. No, my time, our time wasted. 

Dumped after my college graduation, dumped after resigning an agreement to live together in financial bondage. I lost it. I lost my temper, emotions overwhelmed me. As I told her that will happen-depressing episode. Her response was not that of love, it was the best way to contact the police officers. Yelling and tearing down my belongings so I could move out easier, though I did so in a fit of rage and I understand her confusion then, is grounds for my arrest and death. Again, a week after my graduation. 

I lost it. I lost myself in emotions. A heart and stress that shows on my face. My color has changed, become darkened. How long has it been since then? Nine months has passed and she is in her eighth month ‘anniversary’ with another woman. I’m tormented and devastated, constantly reminded of her. Always reminded of bullshit as I try again to keep my mind off of it. She wasted my time. Filled me up with hopes, said we could do it again some point. No I wasn’t listening to that part. I listened when she rolled her eyes as I tried to explain, calmly that I could not afford to live with her and her friend, now that there wasn’t a love bondage to ensure we would take care of each other. 

Depression has overcome me. I’m no longer living in anxiety of her presence since she has moved to live with her girlfriend, yet still reminded of a few family members I have met. Trying my best to avoid their presence and scene. Heart break turned into pessimism, almost given up. Trying my best to have goals in mind to keep me going. Homelessness is temporary, work menial task jobs for now to save for your MA degree and home. Continue to find a purpose, by weight training and writing. Even still there in my gym or here on this site I cannot avoid the overwhelming emotion of a heart break. Again I see it in my face, see it as I see my body as plump though I’m skinny. Stopping tears during random moments of songs reminiscing what I thought I had. 

As what most people, as it seems, think that they have is something forever. Combining finances and planning for the future as if it is marriage already. Why? We are taught to never be alone, yet I have witnessed a marriage where being alone is more preferreable than to fall into expectations. Expecting tradition, order in a world full of possibilities and options. Though if that had happened I would not have been born… I sit and think in the pointless mater of forming relationships. You’re infatuated, this person is your everything. Your milk to your chocolate, in my case I like it. It feels good but people cannot stomach bad moments. It just wasn’t going to work, as I was told. What the hell does that mean? Oh it means that love doesn’t exist. Every situation is treated like a stepping stone to something out there ‘better’ without conflict. I typed a post about this, while in a sad state, people want someone to confirm their bias. As she told me, her girlfriend-that’s ignorant of all details previous of her-told her that her causes and concerns were correct. 

What was there to argue about? Abuse. I was used and abused and did not know how to cope and to relate this to my now ex. She interpreted this as untrustworthiness, really cheating. Young as I am forming relationships I never had before. I could not shake the feeling that I had been forced into something previous of my ex. I’ll handle it alone as I tell myself, address the one responsible alone. I suppose this is the incorrect way to handle such a situation as it means one is cheating. Unable to comfort someone in need is her flaw. I suppose she’s right, it just was not going to work. 

Here I am 9 months later sniffling, going over my mind a hundred times more before I rest my eyes in my car. My temporary home. I think again in obsession as I wash dishes at one job; travel. My first job people are looking for a joke and a smile per usual from me. I tell them I’m going through some life troubles but I’m alright. It’s time to work, customers do not want to hear your story in addition so remained focused. 

I did contact her for an apology. Worst decision to make as she affirms she had done nothing wrong per usual. As I knew she would say stubbornly that she was in a dark place, depressed. Well better now it seems with someone new. She tells me this isn’t about ‘race’, since she’s not racist. I never mentioned color difference to her. 

Whatever, whatever a broken record of her words and her apathy and rude, immature behavior towards me plays over again. My reaction reminded to me again. Again, and again. I know why someone may commit suicide. 

I know what the love songs are talking about. It hurts. Wait, every reaction similar in my experience hurts. I understand the hurt as I listen to others or about others hurting. The more aged adults singing about how young a heart may become and it’ll pass. However they too at the age 45 and over dealing with heart breaks and longings, making it seem as if there is an age restriction to this feeling. It’s not immature, it hurts. 

And I listen to others and see why they are hurting. They, like myself, take matters of the heart seriously. Cannot stomach another commitment witnessing the same or similar patterns of behavior. With the common expectation of bitterness. It’s the person, the individual they say. Well I’m referring to her and other people in my past, hence why I made a dating profile address this exact point. In my ignorant assumption thinking she had read the terms and conditions to being with me. 

I digress, not actually, but for now I’m tired. It shows physically as my feet swell. In need of two jobs to afford a place and my education in addition. Sore and exhausted thinking work and working will keep me busy from the obsssesive troubles on my mind. I’m open an honesty about my struggles so I’m not stifling through tears trying to come up with a lie about my situation. Honestly I’m stressed and in need of sleep. 

As a child I slept away my loneliness-inability to connect with others, self hatred of my actual plump body, etc. So much sleeping to do as an activity,  I became pale and soft. My mom told me she thought she was doing us a favor by leaving us alone in our bedrooms.  No I tell her I anticipated bed after school so I may continue the story dream and to cry myself to sleep. 10, 12, 23 years old my more bullish family members tell me that I just cannot cope with life.
A funny world that we live in. It’s not funny. The lady’s daughter is being institutionalize, miles away from home, because of someone else. Someone else being inconsiderate means the person damaged is need of medication. If we are a danger to ourselves then we need to be institutionalized. I knew my ex was depressed and I tried my best to relate to her by sharing my own experience. Perhaps if I remained patient and supportive she would see that I love her dearly. No, this acknowledgement required love on her part as well. As I told her I’m sure she feels more appreciated now with someone new. It killed me inside when she said yes. It’s not you, it’s just me. It’s just me. My heart ripping to shreds. How do I cope? 

I try my best to keep my goals in mind. Again, homelessness is temporary, fast food worker as a college graduate is only temporary until I find one less judgemetal and rude employer to give me a chance…and so on. I look forward to purchasing books. I look forward to share my story dream, from my childhood, titled as ‘Rough Draft’. I find something else to do to snap out for only a minute or so until my mind falls back to its broken record.

I gave advice to my ex-essentially stating, please love the woman you’re with now. Nothing worse than time wasted and memories wasted and corrupted. Why? For the simple fact of never being alone. 

I’m sighing, not wanting to culture my space here too, yet feel more relieved as I share.

Girl Blue

Girl turned blue. What did she do?

No I will not attempt to type some elementary rhyme to mention not her hue, but her demeanor. The girl has turned blue.

In a constant to remain hopeful of something to intrigue her mind. What is it? A longing for that star since burnt out beyond her years of existence. She longs to find the other side of the universe. Or perhaps to find that time and space are part of a continuum without a clear beginning or ending. 

How do we imagine the beginning, before the universe as we are becoming to know? A white empty space. How do we imagine the end? A seemingly spontaneous unfortunate event were the moon collapsed and had fallen onto Earth. More accurately, when our star has past its time into death. May we be dragged into the pit. Frightful, panicky, perhaps already extinct. 

This girl is blue because she is unconcerned with what the mundane world, society and life may offer her. There isnt a thing at all imaginative about that relationship to materials; jobs to purchase materials; people around another to reveal, compare, and to relate about materials. 

What is imaginative, inspiring to write what no one would ever be able to read: her trip to visit the stars. A journal of isolationism, omnipotence written for her. A letter to herself in the past about her being so blue. 

She’s lost interest in this mundane world. At some point attempted to reconnect. Only to find the pointlessness of it all. She lost all hope of finding a common understanding in all aspects of appreciating another. Then a slight advice from a concerned spirit raised her interest to rekindle what was lost in the form of communication. What she had found instead was the same, the mundane. Lonely as ever walking through life gazing up and around. Those around staring at someone quite strange, or as some one to take precautionary measures of… she walked alone. 

No one else to understand who she is and why she may appear with her eyes dark and face wet. A polite smile to strangers that walk by in judgement of her. 

How else does she imagine isolation? Oh so much so wanting an unfortunate event to take place where she is then left stranded. On an island that she will not assume possession of, a claim of discovery, and never will deface the nature. What does she imagine? To sit alone on the beach and to stare out at blue. To walk slowly, to feel the sand beneath her toes. She oh so want to feel the deafening silence of loneliness. 

To sit and wait for the sky to turn orange, red, then to turn black. We’ve rotated away to face the moon. She looks up again and imagine the night sky grabbing hold of her body. Shred her being apart so that only in essence does her mind and vision exist. Traveling throughout space to experience the evolutionary happening of possible new beginnings of life-too curious about their purpose. 

To float, no, actually to fall into space forever a wanderer who has lost all sense of contentment. No longer a person, without a pronoun to describe the body’s physicality in a sense. This life falls forever into space for eternity. A blue phenomenon receptive of every other element that extends beyond the universe that was known in the previous history.  

The imagination is extended to spontaneous energy forming to conduct a strike on the blue phenomenon. Hurt in a way, how to rejuvenate in this vastness? As in the previous history, to find a source of energy, perhaps a comet. No cosmic rays existing as natural sources of energy. The blue phenomenon latching on again. The uncoordinated destination is Earth.

Dead stars become blurred, new formations become seemingly rapid. A color of blanketed clouds, or as it seems in a stand still. Swirls of light, color, pressure all around. The blue phenomenon overwhelmed. Snatched and sling forward, thrown from its attachment, declining back down to Earth at an ever increasing speed.

The girl wakes from her trance. Where is she? ‘She’ is I, and I am here walking past hotels. Sitting alone at a table abandoned somewhere that was once something. I am she dozing off thinking of an island with the sky reflecting the ocean blue. This is me, my upset, my longing and so forth. A life lived in the present has nothing to offer for a curious star gazer.

So They Believe

Religious affiliations account for just about 88% of our global population, while only 16.3% are unaffiliated to any religion. That is about 9…hold on midnight mental math at work here “6 and 8 is 4…9, 10?” According to a published 2012 Pew Research on the global religious population, the vast majority affiliate to a religion largely identified or not. In contrast, a minority identify as ‘nones’. I skimmed past an article once that used the word ‘nones’ to describe atheist, agnostics, anti-theist, etc. people that were too shy for labels. Anyway, to what I am to convey in anticipated long-winded paragraphs. It fascinates me, still, that we have human beings- in the existence of a modern world- that still believe in a higher power and the second coming of a rewarding death [or new life]. They still believe that the answers to human suffering is a clasped hand in prayer, a hymn, a meditation, a song, etc. Humans still build these great small, yet significant, buildings for collaborative prayer and community involvement. I am in awe here, just how influential these religions are to many others, whether they accepted as a child or grew to become devout. In fascination, in awe, since this is a modern world where unanswerable questions have been answered. A modern world where we can actively prove, scientifically, the truthiness of an extraordinary claim. And yet people still believe.

I will have to limit this essay to those most likely to have access to education beyond traditional means. That means most likely to have access to information to educate oneself or to be educated about religions, their history and impact on the world and of other scientific pursuits and ideas. Specifically I will refer to a nation and religious majority that I am most familiar with-that being the United States of America. A nation where the vast majority are Christian at 70% and are aging. A comparative study conducted by the Pew Research Center has found that while affiliation to religion, Christianity specifically, remains high the numbers are in slow decline. We are witnessing more so now a population of people, growing, and while still young, either unsure or sure about the religious claims by the Christian faith. We are slowly witnessing a population of youth questioning the existence and the purpose of a higher being. I find that too fascinating, since I am part of the young sure and labeled as an atheist. Here I am not concerned by those who challenge religion on it’s grounds. Instead I am here to write about what keeps a modern population religiously devoted to what we now know, regardless if it is acknowledged, to be human-created and constructed. What I have summarized is despite the wide access to information and education about religion, there are some inalienable uses for it still.

For Comfort

I have found that religion is useful for comfort and is familiarly useful for comfort. There is a quote posted and shared somewhere on social media that essentially stated that as an atheist we have no traditional means for comfort. That is, when confronted with the idea of existential crisis and of life existence we are left to understand then to accept alone. As an atheist I have been faced with the idea of our exact purpose based on the history and scientific understanding of our development. We are simply the product of a star born in space. Along with that we are one of many genetically similar DNA copies of one another, or we are no more special than another. Expand this scope to our solar system. Our planet is one of many planets.

View From Mars

Our solar system is one out of 100 billion or so within our galaxy. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is one out of 200 billion galaxies multiplied by 10, within our observable universe. And how many universes are there? This has yet to have been discovered, so we play with the idea through science fiction. My personal favorite to date being Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994), an anticipated future essay. As my astronomy professor demonstrated-on the free activity field on campus, we are truly insignificant. And I remember feeling truly insignificant as a child as I became more sure of being a ‘nones’, an atheist rather. How did I cope with this profound discovery? In regards to our insignificance: I am glad to be a part of the age and time where technology, technological advancement, scientific research and more scientific questions are being asked about our existence and beyond that we can only imagine. I do not think we serve a greater purpose on Earth, as I think we are just as other animals and creatures, though more advanced or better able to be curious and to be aware. This greatly differs from the religious as they are told to believe that their existence is significant, and more importantly, significant to some higher being that exceeds the basic human form.

In conversation with my family, they often tell me in some variation that ‘I know that for whatever obstacles are thrown at me, God is there with me and I know it’. In their minds their purpose lies within their belief of significance. They believe that they are significant, and of course able to adapt to the Sun being the center and that there are other planets. They believe that their God created them, and placed them on Earth that is bountiful with resources. And in return they give their devotion and obedience to their creator, their father and God as a form of appreciation of this gift. Therefore, whenever they have issues with existence itself, or ‘is this all there is to life and living’. They were taught to believe that Earth is simply a test for his people. Or that the reward for their living a sin-free life is to meet Jesus Christ, God’s son, in heaven by death. Then ultimately, those who have the chance to witness such an extraordinary event, the rapture then will allow God’s believers to ascend into heaven. By this belief they live their life relatively without anxiety of greater questions. Religion proves as a greater sense of comfort in dealing with mundane details of human life as well. That being dealing with emotions of love or in dealing with a crisis. Their belief still proves as a safety net for whenever life for presents itself.

As I have felt some devastations, disappointments in life, my family thinks to comfort me with their religious thought. They tell me, ‘in this world you have to believe in something and that don’t have to be what believe, but something’. They tell me this because I will face obstacles in occupations, lifestyles, living arrangements, relationships and the like. They tell me that they are able to endure all of this because they know that ‘God is always looking out for me’. The message does not offend me, instead I subtract the religious dogma and take the already understood lesson for what it is exactly. Religion does help, in a way to provide an ease of comfort whenever life becomes overbearing. What is harmful in believing that if you had to skip a bill payment on a necessary utility that the landlord became forgiving because of God? Well you have just disregarded the kindness of an individual as being dictated by a higher power. Therefore, meaning that an individual is no more responsible for their self and actions than you are for a skipped payment. However, this is comforting to you that God is watching you and that he loves and cares for you. And despite all else you have God. Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him! 

Religion as a form of coping mechanism for the greater anxieties of existence, and of mundane details of human made obstacles and emotions is also out of familiarity. How do we learn how to comfort ourself or to comfort one another? Well we saw or grandmother praying once, perhaps asked ‘why does she pray?’ We see our parents in church singing and dancing about. We see a congregation of perceived happiness in the church, house of God and prayer. And others may ask how does one go through life knowing of the anxieties and obstacles that came with it? There is a song titled It’s the God In Me to illustrate that response. People use religion as means of comfort because it is familiar. It is what they were taught indirectly or not in how to cope with life. It is what they were told when they ask another person seeming to have their life in order, or not so much, or at all. So they continue to believe, and to believe for comfort.

For a Moral Ground

Atheist are often criticized as those being without a moral foundation. We may be asked often, if we so reveal ourselves, how do we determine right from wrong? Albert Einstein stated best:

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”

Basically, I know to treat my fellow human with kindness. Or that if I see you are either able-bodied or not, young or old, gender being unimportant I will still hold the door for you. If I see that you are homeless, or not even, we all struggle with money trouble from time to time, I will give you cash if I have it. I will give you a car ride from and to your destination free of charge. I will volunteer my time by picking up and beautifying the community. I will donate food, donate clothes and choose for those in need. I will thank you when you are kind whether in silence or not. I’m that driver that allows other cars through and in front, if I can, when turning into a lane or turning out of a drive way. I’m that restaurant manager that will give a free meal. I made my point well and clear in that aspect. As well, I know not to kill and that war is senseless, wasteful and destructive. I understand, too that suffering is not kindness; or that brain death should not be sustained. I have morals and I know right from wrong based on how I would wish to be treated and simply, it’s humanely right. I do not require a religion to tell me so, but others, many others do.

We may disagree on what is considered moral and what is not, as some tenets of faith are the product of previous archaic human biases and ignorance [i.e. homosexuality deemed as amoral]. However in some acts of kindness and views on violence there are some commonality or agreement that this concept or that action is either wrong or right. There are examples of kindness that Christians may live by example. Of course, as I stated, I will do good for those in need too. Though I do not require a verse within a book to tell me so, I understand that a Christian may so require that guidance. This is assuming that all Christians in fact read their holy text, as I find many within my own circle of influence do not and have not. So I then ask in return, how do you know what is moral and what is not when you do not ever read your holy text that tells you so. Their answer lies within their name. They are Christian and they were taught vaguely that Christian means kindness, forgiveness, minimalism, and friendship to likeminded good Christians. So they are good to others because they were taught that is where morals are founded.

Because it is Tradition

Based on the number of Christians there are in the United States- just as the numbers there are for Islam in middle eastern countries-we know they believe based on circumstances of birth. This means that you are more likely to claim a religion that is familiar, or that you were raised to affiliate with, based entirely on where you were born. If your community is Christian and Baptist, then your parents are the product of that community, therefore your faith was already predetermined before birth. This includes those adults that find religion without exposure while young, or with limited exposure; I’m sure many of you still chose Christianity. Of course there are outliers, or those that believe in a different religion entirely as adults. This is why I indicated ‘many’, as I am too an outlier, however, chose not to believe in all of the above. The same aforementioned Pew Research studies are finding that many Christians are simply Christian in name only. As in they identify as Christians because their parents were, and then their parents were before then. You see they may vaguely claim to believe in the Christian god in the face of others, but there is no strength to their testament. They cannot tell you a Bible verse, or know that there are many versions of the Bible. They may very well spout something that is not stated within their faith if their politics and comforts are challenged. I’m referring to the people that retorted ‘hate the sin but love the sinner’ fervently during the debates of allowing same-sex marriage, or marriage equality legally and nationally. They are Christian because that is what their community has identified as for decades. In a way they are still believers because they have not challenged what they do not know or care to know. Instead they are the type of apathetic believers in a sense that they will believe for paradise.

If you are one those that believe because it is tradition, you do intrigue me as well. Because the stepping point of you becoming either devoutly religious or ‘nones’ is a simple interest in all that I have typed here. It is with these interests that we are finding a steady, yet slow decline in believers. Only one Google search away, only a page within a chapter to read-whichever you may choose.

On Authority: The Significance of One’s Word Over Another

Whenever we discuss the plight of the black community-the issues that plague black communities, and the youth not yet inspired-there is an echo chamber of a singular voice speaking for all. And here I ask, why? We are to assume that in opposition or in question of these thinkers, preachers, intellectuals is the black conservative. The discussion then is no different than the “arguments”  between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Dubois, who were both speaking of two truths over one topic. As we are to understand, and to believe that, black thought on privilege, poverty, education, wealth, criminality, law enforcement, activism, etc. is a debate between the black democrat and the black conservative. However, where the black democrat is the only valid, and sensitive voice of authority on these subjects. Why? The black democrat blames the hardships on the government, on predominately white institutions, on the history of white privilege and the privilege of the white youth. And because some of them, perhaps many of them have lived these experiences. Whereas the black conservative blames the hardships on lack of self constraints, finanaical irresponsibility and the criminality of the black youth engaging in self destructive activities. And because some of them, perhaps many of them have lived these experiences. 

Where do I stand? I stand between them, telling that they are speaking of two truths on the same topic. Where no singular thought is weighted more than another. 

Though where is my authority? Whenever I give my unwarranted opinion on these matters, yet informed, I’m considered the black conservative. Where ever I call upon myself to offer an alternative viewpoint, my thoughts are told to be less valid as the white people agree with me. If I ever point out the blatant racism displayed by a black person who is assumed to have authority on the subject of racism and privilege, I am told “racism = power”. If I ever challenge the viewpoints of the accepted majority, the black democrats, I am the puppet controlled by whites who wish to keep black people complacent. 

Though who am I and where does my politics stand? Politically I am a moderate social liberal. As far as my education is concerned, I have always been interested in studying racism. Specifically,  all aspects dealing with American (North and South) slavery. As for subjects on education and crime, I call upon my personal experience and observations. For what I am not familiar with I call upon facts and verifiable sources, without the emotional appeal that is often praised in black thought. However, who am I? As in the minds of others? A person easily disregarded by the majority as the ‘lite’ black conservative. 

As I embark on my writing journey I will discuss the topics most concerning the modern black community. Most certainly my authority will be questioned and disregarded. Though I’m open to the challenge, because it is refreshing to read the thoughts of someone equally knowledgeable, yet different.