The One in None
This is important, y’all.
Like really important.
Nones don’t reject people. They reject labels.
And what is the purpose of labels? To distinguish one thing (person, item, idea, etc.) from another.
This is not always a bad thing. In fact, it is a necessary thing for making efficient, functional decisions.
Do you choose dairy milk or almond milk? Should you visit Orlando with amusement parks and cartoon characters galore or Tulum with nothing but beaches, palm trees, and Pina Coladas? Do you prefer laissez-faire capitalism or socialism?
These examples of labels all make sense when having to choose groceries, vacations, or political candidates.
However, when we are talking about the non-label of Nones, we must remember what is being asked. The obvious question is, “what is your religious identification?” But the question behind the question is, “How do you understand your deepest, most existential self?” This is ultimately what religion aspires to address.
The answer to that profound question is at the heart of who Nones are.
We realize that no demarcations exist between humans when it comes to our core selves. We all desire to love and be loved and have a sense of place and purpose. The grab bag of human experiences– suffering, joy, kindness, hatred, generosity, selfishness, achievement, failure– knows no bounds.
Varying world views and different religions are but mere mutations of the universal exploration of human nature and our pull toward something more.
With this understanding, Nones value what unites us, not what divides us. We learn and grow from and alongside our brothers and sisters in our One Human Family.
There is an elegant, linguistic beauty in being a None. Implicit in our non-label– hidden in plain sight- rests this compelling truth. Humanity is ONE.
As a None, I choose no label to separate me from others.
The ONE in None.
The ALL in y’all
Rachel Roberts is the founder of American None. Every now and then she's known to have a deep thought, usually in the most random places– like shopping for IPA and gummy bears.