Things greater than yourself

Most of my readers know that I am an atheist. I’ve written about it extensively but let me summarize to say — atheism is a movement of hope, rationale and enjoyment of life. It is not an outlook which is depressing or fatalistic.

There are many people I love in this world but, if push came to shove, it is hard to predict who among them, if any, I would actually die for. It is easy to say that I would die for my awesome wife or my brother or sister but if the moment were to arrive, without time to think about it, I cannot really predict what I would do.

This is not true of my children. I would absolutely and without a moment’s hesitation die for them. My kids are a higher purpose, of a sort, for me. They need me, they love me and they are wonderful lovable little beings. They are without question the most important thing in my life.

I’ve written before about my belief that life without children is a wonderful thing. I don’t think parenthood is necessarily greater than any other lifestyle choice. But once that bridge is crossed I think all but the most selfish losers quickly find their higher purpose in their children.

The tension is — there is much I want to do in my life. I to not intend to be a servant to my children. Yet my life has been unquestionably enriched by their presence.

And finally — I think perhaps the only good thing about religion is that it gives people a little humility about their place in the world. I don’t need religion to give me that, personally, but the realization that there are things more important than yourself is one that is quite necessary in this world.

Things greater than yourself

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