I attended an award ceremony at Harvard the other night. Eddie Izzard was receiving a “lifetime achievement award in cultural humanism.” I hadn’t heard the term humanism before, but it turns out I’m a humanist!
I’ve heard the terms atheist and agnostic…I have loosely considered myself agnostic. In my online dating profile, I say I’m “spiritual but not religious.”
In his acceptance performance (it was more of a performance than a speech), Eddie said he disliked how atheism and agnosticism focused on the negative: there is no god; we can’t know if there is a god. As a humanist, he said, he believes in people. I thought to myself, yes! As my boy the Dalai Lama has said, “my religion is kindness.”
Back to Eddie…he was in top form. He is just hilarious. His mind runs so fast, I can barely keep up. He made a lot of jokes about historical events, as usual. His self-deprecating humor, gestures, and sound effects are priceless.
And oh, I freaked out when one of the first things he mentioned was getting his DNA analyzed recently! He did a documentary about tracing his family history. He’s been bitten by the genealogy bug as well, god bless him.