DEAR ABBY: I am a middle-aged woman who is Baptist by faith. I believe that when I die I will go to heaven. My problem is, if going to heaven means being reunited with my parents and other family members, then I don't want to go! The idea of spending eternity with them is more than I can stand, but I don't want to go to hell, either. Any thoughts? -- ETERNALLY CONFUSED IN MISSISSIPPI
DEAR ETERNALLY CONFUSED: Yes. When you reach the pearly gates, talk this over with St. Peter. Perhaps he would be willing to place you in a different wing than the one your parents and other family members are staying in. And in the meantime, discuss this with your minister.
Proselytizing is annoying but effective. Stuff and ideas have spread the world round through sales techniques.
Plenty of people have bought crap they never knew they needed or wanted because of salespeople.
Just consider the Jehovah's Witnesses - they're probably the most aggressive salespeople in the entire world.
I don't know how many atheists believe in life after death, but that's actually possible while remaining an atheist.
Life after death: How you exist perpetually in minds of others, based on the way you lived your life while present among them.
One day when Prince Siddhartha and his cousin Devadatta were walking in the woods, they saw a swan. Quickly, Devadatta drew his bow and shot the swan down. Siddhartha rushed to the wounded swan and pulled out the arrow. He held the bird in his arms and caressed it.
Devadatta angrily shouted at Prince Siddhartha, "Give me the swan. I shot it. It belongs to me!"
"I shall never give it to you, You will only kill it!" said the prince firmly. "Let's ask the ministers of the court and let them decide."
The ministers all had different views. Some said, "The swan should be given to Devadatta." Others said, "It should go to Prince Siddhartha." One wise minister stood up and said, "A life belongs to one who saves it, not to one who will destroy it. The swan goes to the prince."
Prince Siddhartha took care of the swan until it could fly again. Then he turned it loose so it could live freely with its own kind.
The Basic Teachings of Buddha