Categorized | Personal, Society

Bright Beacons

At the last meetup, several newcomers asked me: “What does FF stand for? Why do you do what you do?”

I simply gave them a summary of our about page, which is what I usually do when asked similar questions. But I realize now that also sharing stories, like the one below, would have made for a much better answer.

Last week, Richard Wade gave advice to a lonely Filipino Atheist. In case you haven’t yet, do read their exchange at Friendly Atheist. (Seriously, it’s a quick read. And do leave a comment while you’re at it. Better late than never 😉 )

Some of you showed your support in the post’s comments, and for this, Richard thanks us:

My sincere thanks for your warm and welcoming comments and suggestions for the letter writer P. Atheist, on the recent Ask Richard column at Friendly Atheist.

You have put up a bright beacon for someone in a dark and lonely place, and many others may see it as well. I hope that many people find their way to your group as a result.

At Friendly Atheist, we tend to fall into a habit of being focused mainly on American and British issues, but I suppose that is understandable. It’s natural for people to be more concerned about the gophers in their own garden first, and in their neighbors’ gardens second.  But I’m always thrilled to hear from or about freethinkers in other parts of this shrinking planet. I’ve received letters from India, Polynesia, Sweden, Germany, South Africa, China, Argentina, Egypt, and now the Philippines. These remind me that we are all united in our working and struggling for free thinking for anyone who desires it and dares to express it.

I’ll keep Filipino Freethinkers among the first of my bookmarks list, and I’ll enjoy visiting your energetic group. I wish you all the very best.

Gratefully yours,
Richard Wade

And thank you, Richard. Not only for all that you’ve done — and are still doing — but for reminding us of our purpose.

I used to be like the lonely atheist. When I needed friendship or inspiration, I’d read books and blogs written by authors who were either dead or a thousand miles away. I’d email them (the living ones) and leave comments on their blogs. I’d get replies, but they’re never enough. What I would’ve given for the chance to be with a group of people who thought the way I did, who I could listen and talk to, laugh and argue with, see, hear, feel.

Now, I have all of that. We have all of that and more. And the best way to show appreciation is to share what we have.  We may be late, but we’re here now, and hopefully, for good.

I don’t know whether the lonely atheist found our group. Lonely atheist, if you’re reading this, do let us know so we could meet some time. Till then, we’ll be waiting for you, and for those who might need our friendship.

To be “bright beacons for someone in a dark and lonely place.” This is what we stand for. This is why we do what we do.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions in this post do not necessarily represent the position of the Filipino Freethinkers.