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Network Failure

While I was thinking about how to write this post, I found an article that complemented the subject.

I was thinking about people I know who have a large network of friends. For example, my pharmacy preceptor this month is friends with several optometrists in Lexington my wife has done fill-in work for. I depend on my wife's network to help us find a house cleaner or an electrician. As for me, I don't enjoy such a rich network of contacts. I am the title of this post, a network failure.

Failure is a strong word; perhaps I'm a tad bit harsh on myself. But I am a loner, no doubts there, and the thing is, I enjoy it, mostly. It does have its drawbacks. My wife and I split up for a couple years back when we were dating, and I had a difficult time finding new relationship prospects. Eventually, though, my network did come through for me; a friend led me to one, and I found another on my own.

Word of mouth, electricians, house cleaners, poor turnout at their funerals, the scoop on which jobs are great and which to avoid, and knowing when career opportunity exists. These are some of the disadvantages network failures confront. Yes, I honestly worry that only a few people will come to my funeral - it's a reason to avoid death. Since my agnosticism implies that I don't believe I'll have any form of existence when I'm dead, it must seem strange that I even care, but I do. It would be so embarrassing to have a bunch of empty chairs at my funeral. A testament to my network failure.

While we're on the subject, who will officiate my funeral? Being agnostic and all, I can hardly imagine the good Southern Baptist ministers in town volunteering for the task, and even if they did, could they honestly say I'd gone to be with my heavenly father? I would think not. It doesn't really affect me to imagine them saying I was burning in hell, because I don't believe in it, but I don't think it's cool to speak ill of the dead.

In spite of all these anxieties, I am not about to embrace the same religion I've spent 20 years divorcing myself from just to have a minister willing to officiate my funeral and say good things about me... just as I am not willing to force myself to be uncomfortable and suffer by giving up my loner social tendencies to enjoy the advantages of a large social network. Nor do I think I could do either if I tried... I'd fail miserably.

There's no reflective statement here, no epiphany, no nugget of wisdom. Just an observation, a statement of fact. Still, though, I wonder... really, who does speak at funerals for atheists and agnostics?

:: Bryan Travis :: 05/16/2007 @ 21:02 :: [link] ::