Sometime last semester, I got really angry at a lot of people, and began feeling jaded toward society in general. Working full time and attending a traditional university was pretty demanding, on top of caring for my family. Depression seemed to set in, and I had been crapped on by too many people in simple situations, like the gas station attendant never making eye contact, some fat lady nearly causing a traffic jam trying to put her straw in her drink, and, yes, another fat lady not knowing what her job is at the auto parts store. These fucking people, I thought. What a place to live. One morning in class I decided I’d had enough and did what I always do during these times: I sit down and write. So I wrote:
I can’t begin to explain my declining state of mind. Something is missing. I am becoming apathetic, yet hostile at the same time. I am angry at society and its current state. Most people are rude, and it’s either because they were raised that way or they are megalomaniacs. People are hypocrites with earth-friendly stickers on their cars from which they throw trash on the road. They smoke cigarettes and eat pure cooked fat, then declare it a shame that Uncle Jimmy died of a coronary at 46, when he weighed 300 pounds. They wear gold and diamonds that shine in the headlights of other cars on the highway when their grossly neglected vehicle has finally given up. It’s the same $600 car with $1500 wheels on it.
These are the same peole who snap at you for trying to hand them your credit card when you can just swipe it yourself, and only point you in a general direction when you’re looking for something in a store. These are the people who don’t speak when you hold the door for them, as if you owe it to that person. These are the people who share their telephone conversations with everyone in the restaurant and seem to have the hardest time driving while conducting business on said device.
I don’t know where I’m going with this – I just want to sit down and learn how computers work, be left alone right now and not be bothered. But one cannot live without going out for needed items, forcing me out into the jungle of rudeness and hostility. Maybe it’s because I’m white, or because I don’t look like everyone else, but it’s probably just because I’m on the same road or in their store, bothering them to no end. It’s not as if she wouldn’t have a job without paying customers, is it?
I was taking anthropology at the time, and it hit some nerves. The instructor is an atheist, and he really hit home on some topics I’d been toying with on a personal level for some time. The class was very invigorating, and struck the match that lit my fire.
I had been a struggling agnostic leaning toward atheism until I took anthropology. One night the professsor was talking about the significance we as humans imbue upon objects, events, and basically anything we can summon words for. This lecture told me exactly what I needed to hear: God exists because we invented a god. That statement is really for another article.
I have always been a believer in the purely physical and systematically proven concepts. I love it. I can touch it. I can explain it. I deducted from my observations that anything, with time, can be logically explained. I found this in mathematics, when I was trying to explain to Beth how I know that even though I can’t actually define the exact value of the square root of 3, I still know that its square is the number 3. It’s because it works for any square root. That also may be for another article.
All this to say that since I have decided that God does not exist in any form, my methods of thinking about most everything have changed. I have released the significance of many things, and this in turn has granted me liberty from our society. In my mind, I am truly free. There are many benefits to this, but there are also some drawbacks. One drawback is that my new level makes me socially awkward, and unlike 90 percent of America. That said, I don’t have many friends here in South Georgia. That’s okay, though, because I’ve always been socially awkward and without many friends. The pros outweigh the cons.
Don’t get me wrong – I still pay my taxes, I respect people, and I even bow my head when someone wants to pray at the dinner table. I just don’t give any significance to the animocity of some people, the $10.00 “Pray for Our Troops” magnets, or a scratch on my car’s finish. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a car.
It’s just a watch. A shirt. No matter what the commercial says, that diamond necklace only has the significance that you give it. To a monkey, it’s just shiny. To a fish, it’s probably something to eat. To a rock, it’s a relative. What is it to you?
My dad once told me when I was having a fit about life that I must choose to be happy. I couldn’t understand that because it wasn’t that simple at the time. On a lower level, I was angry at the way things were and how I didn’t have any money. I couldn’t maintain my attitude about those things and simply choose to be happy. So when I changed my mind about the significance of money, of other peoples’ opinions of me, and found out what is really important, I was able to make that choice to be happy. I have made my choice, and I am happy.
I realize I may have lost the respect of a few people in light of this, but I am prepared. I have in no way intended to imply that your belief is wrong – only that I may not share the same beliefs with you. If you have been offended, feel free to comment. I am finally ready to defend myself.