I know I’ve had a lot of serious posts lately, and I promise that I’ll lighten up in the coming months. But since this is the start of the new year, and most people are busy making resolutions, I have to write about one more serious topic. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. But I do try to spend some time in introspection at the end of each year, to consider what I want to work on in the upcoming months. This year, instead of choosing a single project to focus on, I have been thinking about what I want my life’s larger purpose to be. As some of you may know, I do not believe in the supernatural
. So, without a god or a holy book to tell me what to do with my life, I have to create my own purpose for living. I take this responsibility seriously, and have given it a lot of thought. There are many worthy causes and many ways to find meaning in life. But eventually each one of us must come to recognize those causes that are closest to our own hearts and those issues that arouse our strongest passions. I consistently find myself moved by stories about the oppression of women and minorities. While the United States has made some strides toward equality during the past decades, we have by no means reached perfection. And in many parts of the world, women and minorities are treated no better than property or animals. Just last month, an Islamic militant group in Bangladesh declared that they will kill any woman seen in public without a burqa
. In our own country, fundamentalist Christian pharmacists are refusing to fill birth control prescriptions for women
, and the Boy Scouts of America openly discriminates against gays and atheists
. Domestic terrorists bombed an abortion clinic in Louisiana on Dec 12th, 2005
and it did not even make the national news, and militant Christian extremists march at funerals of AIDS victims carrying signs that say, “God hates fags.”
It is generally accepted that we should respect other people’s beliefs. But when beliefs lead to violence and oppression, we must speak out against them. Silence is complicity. I can no longer sit back and allow my silence to condone prejudice and oppression. I have decided to allow reason and passion to lead me, and that My purpose will be
to help make the world safer and more comfortable >for women and minorities How will I accomplish this?
- >By creating things that provide comfort, such as hand-knit items to donate to charity and knitting books that allow others to create comfort, and by continuing to provide free knitting patterns and charity knitting information on this blog.
- By using my writing to advance reason and enlightenment and to oppose fundamentalism and the beliefs that breed hatred, violence, intolerance, and ignorance.
- By valuing–and encouraging others to value–the ideas, creativity, and contributions of women.
- By supporting secular organizations that help women and the glbt community.
In each of these areas, I will volunteer, work for pay, and develop personal projects. As the new year begins, I hope you will join with me in evaluating your own purpose in life and choosing a path that brings comfort and joy to the world.
- By speaking out whenever I can in private and in public to point out injustice and to defy the censorship that silences those with no political power.
Peace, Comfort & Joy to All in the New Year!