There’s a word for women like this one.
And that word is “holy”.
That might sound like an odd word coming from an atheist like me. I don’t believe in God, or even gods, so how can I declare something to be holy?
But that would be missing the point. I am not a theist but I have a very strong spiritual belief in humanism and the humanist endeavor, and all that Jesus, as represented in the Bible, was actually talking about.
I just don’t need to believe someone was the Son of God to be onto something.
And so by my deeply spiritual humanism, Mama Hill is a holy woman. She doesn’t just give love, she lives love. Every day and in every way, she embodies my ideal of holiness by being someone who spends every waking moment filling the world with as much love as she possibly can, and has truly given herself over to the holiest of pleasures, the pleasure that comes from loving and helping others.
This is not just the most moral of pleasures, but the purest, strongest, and highest pleasure there is. I envy her and her spiritual strength and dedication. She is my spiritual ideal. If I had to describe my desired destination in my spiritual journey through life, I would just say “Mama Hill”.
She lives in a state of grace. I can only imagine what joy and serenity there must be in that. She has found the joy of abandoning self not out of self-denigration or self-denial, but simply because it was getting in the way of her true happiness.
And she is clearly someone who does not belief the corrosive and destructive lie that you can “spoil” a child by loving them too much. She does not believe in withholding love for any reason. It is never justified. Children must know that they will always be loved, no matter what, and without limit.
That does not mean letting kids do whatever the hell they want. Discipline is part of love, and if discipline is pursued with love, not anger, then it cannot go wrong.
Children might not enjoy the act of discipline. They will quite likely try to avoid the consequences of their actions. They might even curse your name and tell you that you are the worst parent in the world.
But they will be far, far happier in a world with limits, structure, and authority. They will feel secure and calm in a world where there is someone to watch over them and warn them away from harm. The world of a child is frightening and strange. They understand so little of the world they live in.
Thus, they are greatly comforted by the thought of not having to face the great unknown alone.
Her life is pretty much my ideal life, although I would be collecting and helping broken people, misfits and losers and marginalized minorities and such, rather than children of broken homes.
Other than that, though, that is how I would like to live my life. Provide a safe haven for those people who, for whatever reason and by whatever means, did not turn out right and hence are not healthy or whole enough to go out there and cope with the world like a normal person could.
I would be very fulfilled if I could provide those people a place where they can feel loved, valued, and accepted. No religion required, just a dedication to being there for people when and how they need you.
In a sense, it seems like religion is a long and complicated detour on the road to true humanism. Part of me wishes people would just skip the Jesus worship and concentrate on what He actually said, and spare themselves a lot of confusions and angst caused by getting it all tied up with superstition, priests, and the Old Testament.
But I suppose that people have to find their own path to spiritual enlightenment, and my path is not the only one by far. I recognize the symbol value of the idea of God. Apart from its value in keeping as adults also feeling like we are not alone and there is someone out there looking over them, God (or Jesus) represents the highest human ideals and gives people something to strive towards.
It just saddens me to see people who profess a love of Christ but endorse a worldview diametrically opposed to everything the Biblical Jesus taught.
I mean, what’s a messiah to do? How thorough and precise does a holy teacher have to be in order to make it crystal clear what you are talking about and what sorts of things will never, ever, ever be allowed.
Like I say in this comic strip I did ages ago…
… I would be one paranoid Messiah. Given how hard Jesus tried to get His message across, only to have it pretty much completely ignored, in part or in whole, by absolutely everybody who claims to believe in Him, I really do wonder how the hell you can successfully get the whole humanist ideal across to people.
It’s not complicated. Love one another. Be good to one another. Look out for one another. Pick each other up when you fall. Love your fellow humans precisely because of your shared humanity.
I keep picturing either this vast and incomprehensible legalistic document that covers every possible excuse someone might have for doing or being evil, or maybe some vast interactive flowchart type app that does more or less the same thing but in a more user-friendly mode.
But of course, that won’t work either, because no matter how thorough you are, the majority of people will find it to be too complicated and/or too much work to learn and use such a cumbersome belief system, and you might as well have just made a million Happy Face buttons instead.
Maybe Mama Hill knows.
See, I remember where I started!