…even if there is some reason why God must be dropped entirely, was there really no better alternative? Could they not have looked for something like the “higher power”, which Alcoholics Anonymous allows so cleverly to stand, in the minds of atheists, for cycles of nature, the universe, time, society or anything that helps a person to realise they are part of something bigger than themselves and behave with accordant responsibility?
Promising to “be true to myself” feels like the very opposite of that. Although, I repeat, it doesn’t mean anything at all, it certainly carries a suggestion of something utterly individualistic. It’s the language of The X Factor. It feels stubborn, self-important and faintly aggressive. It brings selfhood looming into the foreground, reducing the rest of the world to passers-by who benefit or suffer by mere coincidence as the individual dream is followed.
She must be right. After all, she agrees with me.