I’m not rich, or famous – yet, but I have lived life, though not as fully as I’d like. I’m sharing with you a few things I’ve picked up on my own over the last 51 years.
1. I’m Agnostic, but there are aspects of religion that I admire. Some of the Ten Commandments, but not all of them: Don’t Steal. Don’t kill (I am a pacifist, killing and murder are the same). Sometimes you have to lie, but sooner or later the truth will come out. Adultery? Come on man, you can do better than to punish our inner nature. And speaking of punishments, I don’t believe in an eye for an eye etc. I don’t believe the Death Penalty is a valid deterrent. Yes, lock murderers up, but putting them on Death Row only costs more money. The money we spend on prisoners needs to go to educating them, treating them.
2. I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell, but I do believe that when you die, your soul just moves to a different body. I believe that because Nature doesn’t waste anything. I think there are a finite number of souls on each world, because as man’s population grows, the population of other soul-carrying life forms goes down. I think a stillborn baby is just one without a soul, for whatever the reason. I think ghosts are souls that have baggage that has not been stripped away with death, and until it does, they wander. I have as much proof of this as any other philosophy.
3. We are defined by how we treat others. We as people, and we as a country. In any modern nation, there should be no poor, no hungry, no homeless, no sick, mentally or physically, who can’t get help because they are poor or have no insurance. Everyone, regardless of their job status, should be provided for. If there are no organizations or philanthropists who can help, or they can’t help enough, then government must help. Failure to do so only means that there is a segment of the population that no one cares about, and that is intolerable.
4. That said, we are ultimately responsible for our own actions. If you find 3 and 4 contradictory, you’re trying too hard.
5. I believe that greed and lust for power are inherent, but the worst of it is taught. Just like intolerance.
6. I believe there is someone for everyone. Unfortunately, that someone may be half a world away, or you might have screwed up the relationship early on. I know I did. That said, I stated earlier that adultery should not be punishable. I don’t think it’s a sin. I think it’s human nature. I think marriage is a good thing, but with the divorce rate as high as it it, I have to wonder what’s the purpose of marriage?
7. I believe that one’s sexual nature should not stand in the way of anything. I think sexual preference is determined by the soul, and does not change when you move from body to body.
8. I believe that souls are manufactured by a force of Nature. You can call it God, but I have no name for it. It just is. I don’t believe a soul can be destroyed. I believe it is infinitesimally small. I believe someday we’ll find a way to locate it and learn about it.
9. I believe that someday man will go beyond this solar system. I don’t know how, but at the least we can build a generational spaceship capable of holding a few thousand colonists who can go to the closest stars and see if they can be inhabited by man. Or rather, their descendants will make that trip, because though we might extend our lives, the trip will take a thousand years.
10. I hope that man does not wind up destroying himself before then. I’ve lived through the Cold War, when Civil Service would run drills every now and then, and on TV the stations would run test of the EMS, designed to warn us if an attack was pending. Really pointless in this day and age. Still, I think we can learn to work together to overcome our differences. The alternative would be Earth-shattering.
11. I believe we can shed ourselves of the dependency on oil. In fact, I believe we must or that war from 10 will take place. Like we made the change from hunter-gathers to farmers and beyond, we must make that change from oil to solar. The technology is there. Use it.
12. Last and hardly least, let us remember that our future is our children and grandchildren. Let us educate them. Let is teach them to get along. Let us teach them to hug. Let us teach them to lead. Let us teach them to make a difference. That is where hope lies.