Today marks the end of Atheist Apocalypse Podcast, my first audio drama.
I called the episode, "Imagine." It is deeply & personally important to me.
I'm happy that it's over but I'm especially proud of how it went out. It was the right way to do it, the right way to say goodbye. The character who gave this monologue was a Conservative Christian asshole, and he changed and grew throughout the 4 seasons of the show.
The show was never about religion, it was about humanism leading us away from a 2-party system that has corroded all that was once good in us. As Jake (the character) said goodbye to the audience, he gave away more than a little bit of me. I'll miss him. :)
Jake's Final Monologue, entitled, "Imagine":
"I would hate to think that all of this was for nothing … that there was no purpose in sharing all we shared. I hope it fulfilled its purpose.
I mean, what else is there if there isn’t hope? If we don’t believe that we can be better, that the world can be better, what reason do we have for waking up each and every day?
Thanks to those people who cared about me, who cared to help me, I now see hope everywhere. Now more than ever.
I see hope in a summer rain.
I see hope the first time a tree buds.
I see hope in charitable gestures … I see hope in the innocent eyes of two small children holding hands at a playground.
I see hope in people waking up to the fact that we have a spotted history, collectively and individually. I see more and more people realizing that in order to make the world a better place they must start by making themselves better people.
How can we progress, how can we grow, how can we heal if we’re not ready to take that hard look at ourselves, to explore our inner-most failings and deficiencies? And what it is that stops a person from doing that; from wanting to be the best person they can possibly be.
When we lower our guard and admit with humility that we need to work on ourselves, then … then we start to understand how we can enrich the lives of others. When we enrich the lives of others we start, in our own small way, to enrich the world.
I imagine a world like that now. I do.
I imagine a world where we don’t create divisions, and where we definitely don’t celebrate them.
I imagine a world where intelligent adults rise above petty squabbles and differences and heal through mutual respect.
I imagine a world where an entire country hasn’t been convinced they only have two options to anything, never mind the political party of the leader of the most powerful nation on the planet.
I imagine a world that recognizes our differences, but a world where we appreciate those differences instead of holding them up like some sort of beacon, to be assaulted and criticized.
I imagine a world where we can come together, physically, emotionally … ideologically … and explore our differences. Where people are more interested in understanding and bridging those differences than justifying why one stance, one opinion, one perception … is better than the other.
I imagine a world where every single person who sees a white man hugging a black man recognizes them as two friends, maybe even lovers, sharing an intimate moment … and it’s all so ... normal.
I imagine a world where a mother can provide sustenance for her child in a public setting without people gawking at it, fuming over it, or without people slandering her for doing something so natural.
I imagine a world where a woman is allowed to embrace her sexuality without being called names, being chastised or ostracized for her choices. For her own desires.
I imagine a world where we respect each other’s identities and accept and love each other for who we are … who we really are, deep down inside.
I imagine a world where no young adult ever has to spend the majority of their life indebted to their education … and where no young woman must ever again face ignominy and ridicule because of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy.
I imagine a world where we recognize the slow death of the planet as the natural consequence for our greed and that the time for claiming ignorance has long passed.
I imagine a world where conversion therapy is viewed as a relic of an age of ignorance and where believers of all stripes revel in sharing each other’s philosophies instead of attacking and killing each other over them.
I imagine a world where a non-believer sits with a believer and explains their non-belief without judgment being passed on them. And where that very same believer can take joy in sharing why they believe without fear of being ridiculed and thought of as a child.
I imagine a world where we keep our promises to our veterans and where we honestly and fully invest in combating homelessness and poverty; where we fund mental health research and outreach more fully than we fund advanced weapons systems.
I imagine a world where governments don’t turn blind eyes to human rights violations in places like Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, where we transcend our greed for more money, more oil, more riches and we hold accountable those people who would allow the subjugation of an entire sex or ignore the brutal beatings and killings of people based solely on their sexual preferences or how they identify.
I imagine a world where all abuses of power, from our police forces to the steps of our nation’s capitols, were terminated with the same veracity that those very authorities ruled over their people.
I imagine a world where no child ever goes hungry; no child ever cries themselves to sleep because they’ve learned to hate themselves at the hands of an abusive relative; where they will never fear being inappropriately touched by someone who is supposed to protect them from such violations.
I imagine a world where there is no more judgment, no envy, no greed, no war, no need for a police force; where equality is achieved through selfless contribution from the whole; where people don’t care more about the marital status of their favorite celebrity than they do the fact that 3.1 million children under the age of five starve to death each year; where people care less about who has the newest car or went on the nicest vacation and care more about the fact that there are over 300 million guns in the hands of people across America and that 18 children lost their lives in Newtown, Connecticut almost five years ago and STILL no one is having an honest discussion about gun control.
I imagine a world for those children on that playground, holding hands.
A world we can give them if we really cared, if we really wanted to.
A world that is healed. A world that is whole.
A world that is nothing less than what they deserve. What we deserve.
I hope I find that world on the other side of Sunrise Peaks.
I’m about to turn off the last light switch, the switch that will end our time together. I want to say one more thing before I go.
We all have things we need to work on. All of us. You. Me.
It’s easy to forget about these things, or not to think of them at all, because … well, because we’re comfortable. As hard as it is to live in the Tri-Counties all of our basic needs are still being met. And it’s because of that that we don’t act. But it’s exactly because of this that we need to. To do for others who aren’t as fortunate as we are. What does it say about us as a species if we can’t see that?
Okay, I’m going to head home and research a nice restaurant to take Beatrice to … she deserves at least that much.
She deserves a hell of a lot more. I mean look at what she’s done for me. She deserves everything I can give her … and everything I can’t. To be shown that she is worthy of more than just a kind gesture … that she’s worthy of love. And I hope that I’m worthy enough for her.
You know, the beautiful thing about this life is that we have choices. We can choose to shun the establishment and vote with our conscience and not just who we’re “supposed” to vote for according to some imaginary lines drawn by power-brokers interested more in protecting their kingdoms than protecting our freedoms. We can choose to try and understand someone else instead of worrying about being understood ourselves.
We can choose to hate or to love.
Listeners, do something nice for someone today …. or tomorrow. Hell, do one nice thing for someone every day. It doesn’t have to be big; even something small to you can make another’s day substantially richer; brighter.
Extend an olive branch to an enemy.
Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in years. Forgive someone who has done harm to you.
As long as you have a breath left in your body it’s not too late to make a positive difference."