|The Lizard Queen?|
"Uma... Oprah. Oprah... Uma." - David Letterman, hosting the 67th Academy Awards in 1995.
As reported in several media outlets, while interviewing endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, Oprah Winfrey has supposedly said that atheists don't believe in awe and wonder. And while I and every other Humanist I know would disagree 1000% with that concept, further review of the clip may well belie that claim.
What the 'lifestyle guru' actually says is that she doesn't believe that an appreciation of and belief in awe and wonder constitute atheism. OK. Big deal I don't really see the reason for Humanist/Atheist outrage here. In fact, Nyad's logical and well-spoken response is pretty dead-on.
Can I not believe in a "Creator" and still be 'spiritual?' Odd as it may seem to some, yes. Of course I can. As I often told Mom, one of the laws of physics is that energy and matter can neither be created or destroyed; only transformed. Our 'spirits' (or minds) are the result of the electrical impulses in our brains, which evolved over eons to become modern Homo-Sapiens. Of all of this I am more than certain. Beyond that... there is likely little more. It would be nice to believe in an afterlife, I suppose. I'm sure it gives many people comfort and a way to deal with knowledge of our own mortality. Mom always thought of religion as a 'crutch' for the weak and frightened. And while I would never deny anyone's right to think otherwise, you all know by now that I think so, as well. Among Mom's last wishes was for her body to be donated for research and/or teaching. Her wishes have been honored. A private dinner for family and friends will be held in Mom's memory at a date and place to be determined.
The Cult of Winfrey is no more or less ridiculous than any other, be it religious or momentarily culturally relevant. She didn't actually say what she's been misquoted as saying. And she, like every other human being has the right to do so, is simply expressing her own beliefs. And whether you agree or not, it's no reason to (you should forgive the expression) demonize the woman. Yes, she's promoted her fair share of charlatans; liars and fakirs. She's in the Business of Show, my friends. She doesn't care if you really buy what she's selling. I assure you, she's far more interested in you buying what her advertisers are selling.
Watch the 'controversial' clip below (via) and decide for yourselves. I'm not afraid to tell you what I do and don't believe. Don't be afraid to disagree. I won't think too much less of you...;)
Here's the thing: What matters is now. Life live on your own terms but do nothing to harm others. Tell the people you love that you love them as often as you can. Treat everyone... EVERYONE... the same: with compassion, respect and empathy. Laugh often; laugh hardily; laugh loudly! Taste everything you eat or drink. Savor every damned bite of every delicious thing! Don't waste your time or energy on negativity. Take risks. Travel. Meet new people and make new friends. Don't deny yourself, but take care yourself, as well. Move. Dance. Have sex. Act. Write. Create. Make love. Do what brings you you joy. Get everything you can out of every moment you can. It' all we've got, folks. It's all we've got.