December 25 2014

Timing, they say, is all. The Listserve ‘winners’ email awaited my arrival home from a visit to my younger brother in hospital (a double heart bypass, complicated by diabetes). My older brother has Alzheimer’s, and has just been sent home to die. I’m trying to complete the sale of my house but the buyers, a Christian church organisation, are anything but compassionate in their dealings and turning the dream into a nightmare. So, I was feeling rather despondent.

Then I’m chosen to write to thousands of strangers. What a gift, what an opportunity, what a spirit raiser!

Your time’s precious, so I’ll introduce myself and then ask a question.

I was born in a neighbour’s bed, following my father’s death and my mother’s eviction from our home connected to his job. The attending midwife, convinced I’d be born dead, abandoned my mother for ‘a woman up the road whose kid has a chance of being alive, love.’ Later, after a remarriage, our new family ended up living in an old railway carriage, perched on its wheels, in a field on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. A magical childhood followed: walking the beach to school, using sea and sand as our playground, standing on the headland watching thunderstorms develop over the waters.

Those who educate us, influence our life choices and should be respected and valued. One teacher was irascible, rigid and easily mocked. But for his negative attitude, I’d have been an architect. Another was bright, attractive, sexy and encouraging: through her I became a storyteller.

Enough of me: for more, type my author name ‘Stuart Aken’ into any search engine. Feel free to connect with me. I love the facility of the web and the net to link complete strangers from all over this amazing planet we inhabit.

So, to my question, which is complex: If you believe in a God (and there are many), is this because you were brought up to do so, because you consider every word of some text to be from that deity, because you ‘feel’ such a belief to be right, or because you have a deep-seated need of such a power?
If you don’t believe in any form of deity, is that due to upbringing, consideration of the evidence, or straightforward cynicism?
To be fair to you, I’ll express my own view. I suspect that we will never truly know whether or not a God exists. Such a power, by its very nature, must be so far beyond our ability to comprehend as to be inaccessible. I’ve therefore come to the conclusion that the only way to live is to abide by the Golden Rule and to live our lives in a way that will leave the world a better place than when we entered it.

I hope that this short missive finds you at the festive season and that you enjoy the holiday and engage in its spiritual message of peace and goodwill to all.

You can respond to me, should you wish, at the email address below or through the social media I inhabit.

Thank you for your time and attention. And enjoy!

Stuart Allison
[email protected]
East Yorkshire, England, UK

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