I would describe myself as an ordinary, un-remarkable and decidedly average person with (until recently) a troubled sense of place in this world. I have never felt comfortable with religion and the stereotypical view of the world and its origins held by some of my closest friends and associates. My views don't seem to fit-in and I have wondered for (what seems like) a lifetime why I have often felt excluded and isolated by my peers.
During the last few months I have read 'The God Delusion' and immersed myself in the works of Carl Sagan, Sam Harris and others of a similar mind. I have just finished reading a transcript of an acceptance speech delivered by Ann Druyan back in 1997 and finally, finally after all these years of soul-searching I have found the answers I have been looking for. The frustrating thing is that the answers I have sought have always been there and it has finally taken your book to lead me to them.
I was struck by the following anecdote from Ann Druyan's speech.. "I remember that one time Carl was giving a talk, and he spelled out, in a kind of withering succession, these great theories of demotion that science has dealt us, all of the ways in which science is telling us we are not who we would like to believe we are. At the end of it, a young man came up to him and he said: "What do you give us in return? Now that you've taken everything from us? What meaning is left, if everything that I've been taught since I was a child turns out to be untrue?" Carl looked at him and said, "Do something meaningful."
Thank you Richard, you have given my life new meaning and I will now strive to do something more meaningful with it!