Loneliness is a basic human emotion. It is biologically implanted in order to keep us in packs. Living in tribes, communities, protecting one another and ensuring the survival of our offspring. It is also what drives most people to religion. I have had a few comments lately (yes, I do read them all!) expressing gratitude for reminding them that they are not alone.
It makes me sad and frustrated because the lack of support and community is the secular world’s biggest failure. There are so many of us out there – so many atheists and not-so-sures who want to feel a part of something but don’t want to abandon their faculties to do it. We are a community of skeptics and rationalists and good moral people who can learn from one another, and gain strength from one another and affect change in the world. We just don’t have our shit together quite yet.
Liberally minded people tend not to feel as strongly about things. The very nature of our thought process means we don’t believe in forcing others to think like us. It limits our ability to recruit and form a cohesive group. The internet has obviously made that easier but for many people, the warmth that comes from sitting and talking with someone who shares your values and understands who you are, cannot be matched by a computer screen.
Come out of the closet. Tell the people around you that you are an atheist – I promise you that some of your friends, co-workers, neighbours and even family members are also atheists, or at the very least, unsure. You just don’t know it yet. Spend time thinking about your own journey to atheism so that when asked you can give a quick, convincing yet friendly synopsis. It’s not easy but it needs to be done. Many people don’t think they even know an atheist – let them know they not only know one, that they like one and hey, even love one!
And for those of you who read this blog – you are not alone. Even if there is no bearded man in the sky watching over you today, there are millions of people in this world who respect, understand, and share your world view. Help us turn this whisper into a roar.