About a year ago, I was told that 2012 (roughly) was the Maya year of transition and that those who could swim with the changes would emerge ok. I was happy to have this advance warning - for us, as a family, as individuals, we traveled through dark tunnels, down deep pits, up to the light, down, and then, out again.
I have been told that religion is a crutch - why live in this life, if another life, a better life is coming? Why face uncertainty, if one can be certain that one will live on? The Maya calendar was a bit of crutch to me, "If we can make it through this year, we'll be fine," I repeated to myself.
I suppose that's the cynical way to look at it.
Christian values - faith, charity, forgiveness, and kindness, are not exclusive to Christian religions. Instead, they are the basic character traits that allow us to of live with others.
It feels better to pick some one up, than to step on them. It feels good to let bad things go. It feels good to give. It feels good to believe in something - yourself, your choices, fresh air, humanity's goodness.
And I, sadly, have left a good portion of my religious structure behind. I left because women are not equal in the church, because I believe all people should have access to knowledge and family planning. I stayed away because I learned children were not equal and not protected by the church. I attempt to attend mass once per year - Christmas - because I love the music.
2013, you are very welcome.