It takes a lot to turn away from religion, so it must take even more to turn back.
Atheism generally comes about from people who have completely and totally lost their faith, either via a traumatic life event or from some other disillusionment. But some people do eventually go back.
Some go for the community. Some go for the lessons. But what is it that made them turn back?
Here were some of those answers.
The Spark WithinGiphy
I was raised church of christ in the heart of the bible belt, and they were genuinely wonderful people, but i was an angsty goth as a teen. A lot of horrible things happened to me that drove me to rebel against everything. I was working hard to get far away from home. A few years after HS i quit my job, and moved to SLC for school, and wanted to learn as much as possible with my time abroad. One day my mormon roommate asked me to go to his sunday service, and out of curiosity i decided to go. No, i didnt convert to LDS, but it did ignite a spark in me. The next saturday, i went to my other roommates church that was seventh day adventist and it was really eye opening.
It was like an open discussion instead of being preached to. After that, i made it a point to try a different church every week to better understand how people worship in their own ways. Ive been to an almost entirely black Baptist church, islamic temples, easter mass at a large cathedral, korean first methodist, and many more. I made lifelong friends, ate all kinds of amazing food, got help during the low times of my life, and most importantly i gained understanding.
In the end, I found home with a small Universalist Unitarian congregation back in my hometown because everything just clicked. I wish I could share all the stories and amazing experiences i had, but it would be 100 pages long, and I honestly think that the path to finding spirituality is up to you and how much you search for your own soul in the melting pot of the cosmos.
It's not exciting, and kind of weird to me still, but I found comfort in prayer when I was feeling bad about stuff from my younger years, and I guess I just never stopped. I'm not about to spread the gospel or try to convert anyone, but getting back in touch with my spirituality helped me deal with life a little bit more. For the record, I was one of those edgelord atheists that would often try to argue with my religious friends, unprompted, when they just wanted to simply hang out.
North South East West
When I was at the lowest point in my life, I had nothing left to live for and needed a reason to keep going and to improve as a person. My SO, my friends, I lost them all to my increasingly disgusting behavior. The core values of religion provided a good moral compass for me and helped me be more patient and in control of my actions. I became a better person because of it, and I found a reason to live. Not to say that atheists are bad people, I just mean that it helped me personally become a better and more patient person.
I was born and raised in an atheist household. Starting in high school, I was really depressed and didn't know how to seek help. I loved and continue to love my parents but they didn't allow me to seek medical help. This continued on into my freshman year at college, even though I was living on campus and away from my home. However, I was still stubborn and wasn't comfortable with seeking help. Instead, through an acquaintance I met in a class and, after briefly mentioning about some life issues I was going through, he guided me to Christianity. We would occasionally have Bible study with other students, and I felt belonged. It also warmed my heart to know that God was protecting us all, including me, from evil. In a way, this moment also helped me become a better person by learning to love and not judge people so quickly, help others, and most importantly, love and accept myself for who I am. A few months later, I finally had the courage to get medical help for my depression. I honestly would not have done so had I not become a stronger person in part due to my curiosity and time with Christianity.
As an avowed teenage atheist (having grown up in a non-church-going family), I met a super smart nerdy guy and starting hanging around him. Turns out he talked about his faith in Christ... a lot.
So one day I blurted out something -- I don't remember verbatim but along the lines of, "Gee, I thought you were smart and understood science."
He said, "It's because I understand and love science that I believe the Scriptures. Every new archaeological or scientific discovery just keeps confirming what I know."
He went to great lengths to show me what he meant, and 38 years of marriage later we're still sharing what we learn -- from Scripture or from the latest physics discovery.
Spirituality Vs. Religion
Not necessarily religious but spiritual. I was raised Christian, and my mom was very forceful with it. When I was 12, and starting to develop my own beliefs, she refused to accept that I might not be Christian/didn't want to attend church. That just made me rebel and I became a very edgy, angry atheist that hated anything spiritual, period.
As I got older though I utilized a thing called DBT therapy which is based on Buddhist practices. It made me realize that spirituality could be useful and wasn't all bull. I picked up different theories and bits of religions, whatever resonates, and built my own belief of a "god." I personally call it "source" or "universe." I've been happier, since. It makes the world make a bit more sense, gives me a sense of purpose and comforts me in terms of what potentially comes after death. I'm a kinder, more tolerable person now. As an atheist I believed there was no purpose to life. Everything was random. Now I believe everything has a reason and there's no coincidences, adds a sense of wonder and mystery to even day-to-day life :).
Science For Religion
Not really religious, but eventually hard problem of consciousness convinced me that the current scientific models of reality are fundamentally incapable of explaining my consciousness.
At that time I was kind of early 20th century science optimist so this was quite crushing realization. Around that time I also found out about Gödel's incompleteness theorems which made me think about many other things which seem obviously true but are not rigorously provable and science suddenly has not seemed as powerful as before.
I didn't turn religious in the sense that I follow a religion, but after some pretty intense experiences with acid I came to understand that there most definitely is something beyond the physical plane and that our senses aren't really equipped to understand it.
The argument for atheism is always that the onus is on religion to prove God exists, which is fine and all but is "God created the universe" really any worse an explanation than "a big bang happened but we don't know why and an enormously complex sequence of unlikely events just happened by coincidence and here we are"?
I grew up in a Protestant household but around seventh grade went through some really hard times and developed depression. It became difficult to believe in a God. This year, however, I went through confirmation at my amazing church (highly recommend United Church of Christ churches -- super accepting) and really built my faith. I realized that faith is about just that -- believing that no matter what this mortal world throws at you, He has a plan, and that it's okay when I have doubts and question that there's a God who watches over all 7.5 billion people because I know in my heart that He's more amazing than my human mind can understand and that when I meet him again, I will understand the glory of His kingdom.
Leap Of FaithGiphy
Don't follow an established religion, but i now believe there is more than our life on earth. Maybe it's that our "soul" is just a higher dimension we can not tap into in our human form. Maybe there's a heaven and hell, or maybe they're just a representation of the reflection we will endure after leaving life on earth. My lack of religious beliefs changed after a very large dose of mushrooms and hearing experiences from those who have tried dmt, which i really would like to experience.
Athiesm itself is a religion imo, because you have a belief of something you can not prove, thus requiring a leap of faith. Was atheist from around 12-16, then agnostic, now i guess I'm spiritual? The word makes me cringe but I don't know what else to call it.
My family is atheest. I was too. Then, I started hearing people talk about religion and how special it was to them, and I was like "Wow, that's incredible that you have something that you believe In so much." Then, I began reading the bible and thinking about it and realised, I can't believe that there isn't something bigger in our giant universe. It didn't all just poof into existence without some sort of interference, I don't think. What really cemented it, though, was hearing my dad bash it. I didn't tell them I believed in God. They always said they'd be fine no matter what I believed in, but I felt like at the age I was, I didn't know for sure. Then, my dad started bashing people of faith for being "foolish enough to believe in a man in the sky." And for some reason that just made me more convinced.
Shades Of Grey
I've turned from Atheist to mostly agnostic. When I was 4 or so, I decided that there were some lies in the Bible so all of it must be lies. I saw only black and white, not the many different shades in between. I've let religion back into my life. I'm learning about acceptance of myself, taking time to rest and self-love. I'm learning about being a member of a community, kind of a family.
I don't go to church every Sunday, I actually rarely do. I don't believe in God or miracles or anything like that. I believe in myself and everyone else. I believe evil people do not exist, that everyone is good, but perhaps confused. I believe in helping others, accepting help when I need it and not overworking myself anymore. I'm happier as an agnostic Catholic than I ever was as an Atheist.
This is something that gets done to death in religious circles, people use these made up stories as "proof" of god. Plus a solid conversion story sells well, there are plenty of religious authors who made a nice chunk of cash recounting how they found faith.
This thread is going to be filled with
- sock puppet accounts featuring people pretending to have been atheists who found god (but were really always religious to begin with)
- bullshit strawman accounts of people saying they lost faith because they were "mad at God" or decided at a young age to be atheist just for the edgy shock value
- special pleading fallacies.
I found myself surrounded by people who were openminded, kind, and understanding. They saw things others I encountered couldn't, and reassured me I wasn't crazy. They believed me when I told them of the things I'd done in secret, and they shared their stories too. Legitimately, Fae Worship (not genuine worship, but the acknowledgement of fae and acceptance,) has positively changed my life and allowed me a healthy mental, physical, and magical outlet for stuff Ive carried with me for way too long.
I wasn't atheist really I was more agnostic. But everything in my life fell apart. My mom was going through it all with me. She was telling me about the sermon she heard at church that week that brought her comfort. She never tried to push me to go back to church. But she was dealing better with the tragedy our family was going through than I was.
I decided that I would try to go to a church near me. I went and everything the pastor said felt like it was talor written for my ears. I went back weekly I said prayers some were answered. Some were not. I felt better. I felt lighter. I am glad i went.
I wish every one could find something that makes them feel as content, happy and at peace as religion makes me feel. I don't care if that is a religion an activity or what. As long as they are not hurting them selves or others. I also have no will to push others in to my religion, or hate and judge others because of religion, race, sexual orientation or any other reason. I know some religious people do that. I don't like that so many so called Christians do that.
Didn't turn religious, but I did change the way I look at religion.
At some point in time, as an atheist, I decided to look into other religions besides Christianity to see if anything appealed to me. Surprisingly, many things I read changed the way I would see the world. I still think that God isn't real, but I treat religions as ways one can become better: I keep the good parts only. I would also interpret things in my own way just for the sake of simplicity, such as meditation being time spent with my eyes closed thinking.
We've all said something stupid, let's not lie to ourselves.
It's okay to say something stupid. It showcases the real person on the inside, that we're all flawed, imperfect, and made of cooky combinations of words that don't necessarily line up to make sense. Sometimes we're nervous in a situation, other times we're just hitting 'Quick Reply' in our brains and what comes out doens't work, but whatever the reason, you for sure are going to remember it, late at night, for the rest of your life.
What is the stupidest thing that ever came out of your mouth?
You may not have to change your home address because of these moments, but you should probably reconsider how many public outings you go to afterwards.
Should Probably Never Shop At That Store Again
"When the cashier said "Have a nice day", and I replied with "No, thanks".
"Background: I wasnt thinking straight that day, and thought they said "Do you want a bag"
That's. How. Twins. Work?
"Her: the twins are 3 years old"
"Me: Both of them?"
"Oh no this unearthed a memory i had buried from kindergarten lmao"
"We had a set of twins in our classroom and once on their birthday party I said "your brother got such a cool party, i hope yours is nice like this too" to one of them and he was like "yeah, this one"
"4 year old me was not a very bright kid"
That's. How. Death. Works...
"Watching the documentary 'The Last Dance' when a Kobe interview pops up -"
"Me: "Wow, they must have filmed this before Kobe died."
"My wife: "Yeah, obviously…."
The cringe comes out of nowhere, and you're not even sure how you were able to ask something so incredibly stupid, but here you are. Lounging in the stupid air.
You Should Have Asked What "Nothing" Tastes Like Next
"In my head I was wondering what one pound of water would look like in terms of volume. What I said out loud however was "How much does a pound of water weigh?"
Keep Up With Me
"A couple of months ago, I got up and drove to work as usual. Later, my girlfriend texted me from home to ask me if she had left her sunglasses in my car. I told her I wasn't sure, but she could grab my spare key and go check."
"In my car."
"Which I had driven to work."
Black Is White, White Is Black
"I don't understand why people place bets on who wins, why not just place bets on who loses?"
"Yeah took me a minute to register what I said..."
And then there's these stories, where the person is probably better off cutting off any human contact henceforth going forward. These are rough to get through, folks.
Should Probably Have A Chat With HR After This
"I was about 4 months into my current job, feeling confident being fresh off the contract-to-hire period, now moved into a coveted full time role. While walking back to my office from the morning kanban I was stopped by my boss, head peeking out of the office:"
"Boss: "Hey TheMediator, do you have a sec?"
"Me: "For you, I've got lots of secs!"
"Boss: wide-eyes, mouth dropped"
"If you're curious why this was incredibly stupid/embarrassing, try saying the phrase "lots of secs" out loud. Preferably, not to your boss though."
You Don't Need College Anymore. Go Home. Bury Your Head In The Sand.
"In my freshman year of college I was dorming next door to a couple cute girls. About a week into the first semester one girl walked from the coed showers to her dorm room in her towel still wet. We were both unlocking our doors to get in our rooms when she looks at me and says…"
"I know I look stunning…(sarcastically)"
"To which I replied, "don't flatter yourself."
"I had to slid a note under her door explaining I was tongue tied as she was beautiful and I meant to say "don't be hard on yourself, you look great." (Or something to that nature). We became good friends."
It's In The Descriptor?
"Chatting to a homeless guy on the street and he told me he was feeling unwell. I told him he should be at home, resting."
"It's been 20 years and the memory of it still brings me out in a cold sweat."
Oh Good Lord...
"Asked my friend how his mom was doing at his moms funeral."
"Jesus Christ this is the worst one on this thread. What was his response?"
"He looked at me and then the casket and kind of smirked. I awkwardly started to try and explain and just said "I'm an idiot. You know I love you. Talk to you in a bit." He makes fun of me now and I can't stop laughing. It's a positive painful memory."
Own up to your mistakes. You'll garner more respect by acknowledging the awkward things you say, however, it's perfectly fine to laugh about it in the moment. That's probably the easiest way to escape the deep, deep shame.
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The advice "fake it til you make it," though often said with at least a hint of sarcasm, does carry quite a bit of wisdom.
By simply putting one foot in front of the other, weathering the chaos of not knowing what's happening as you learn as fast as possible, we can find ourselves further than we expected.
Once we're there, reaping the fruits of all our "faking," we somehow begin to take on a new identity in people's eyes They assume we've always been in control and known what was going on. They defer to us for advice.
But that couldn't be further from the truth. So we keep on faking it.
Redditor espectro11 asked:
"What's your 'I don't know, I didn't think I'd get this far' moment?"
Many Redditors discussed their experiences navigating the intimidating environment of job applications, interviews, and offers.
Oh Right, Getting Paid
"I gave my resume to fancy private school (I'm a teacher, but new to the field) and I didn't expect a call back. But they called me today to ask my expected salary and I said 'I don't know what the average is. Let me Google it.' "
"Ya girl was not prepared."
"When I went for a walk-in interview looking like crap and they hired me on the spot. I get they were hiring for a new store, but they up and said 'if you want the job it's yours, when can you start?' "
"Deada** didn't think I'd make it that far."
Outside the Box
"Years ago I was applying to a bunch of copywriting jobs and feeling frustrated because I wasnt hearing back from any of the places I was applying to."
"It was especially frustrating because I was putting in all this time on cover letters and I felt like nobody was even reading them, so I said, 'Fu** it, I'm gonna write one that is more me.' I thought it was a dumb idea and never imagined that it would work, but somehow it did."
"I applied with this cover letter and the subject line "Copywriter: Will Work for Beer" to a job that I was very underqualified for. It managed to catch the eye of the headhunter for the ad agency and was enough to get me an interview. Shortly after that I was hired and ended up working there for a few years, but I remember thinking on my first day, 'I can't believe that actually worked.' "
Just Not the Right Fit
"An interview at Google. The 20 years younger than me was describing the peer review system."
"I responded with 'Jesus, that sounds awful.' "
"I did not get the job."
Others also shared experiences that centered on their working lives. But these stories weren't about being hired or interviewed.
These were accounts of long-developing success stories that they never would have predicted.
A Winding Road
"My entire legal career"
"I have four degrees and a 10 year career in commerical litigation. I just wrapped up a $200mil trusts lawsuit."
"I started at uni doing theatre and stand up comedy. I have no fu**ing idea where I turned to get here."
"Started at a very small company doing sales straight out of college. I went about messaging big corporate players (who obviously would never do business with us since our size) and was laughed at by my new colleagues for even trying."
"2 weeks later My boss was asking me what we (a team of 6) should say on the conference call with Toshiba Buyers."
Putting Fires Out
"Me at work. I feel like every issue that comes up has me unprepared. But I am always praised for my good work."
"So, I assume I have imposter syndrome and keep doing what I am doing."
So next time you find yourself ruling a possibility out completely, maybe take just a few seconds to imagine it actually occurred and prepare.
You just never know.
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I'm going to be perfectly honest––I'm a city boy. I'm not a huge fan of hiking or camping. I happen to be a huge fan of running water. Have you heard of it? It's great. Highly recommended.
I've also, on a more humorous note, watched far too many horror films over the years and don't particularly like idea of running off into the woods only to piss off some demon that was perfectly fine until I arrived. I also have immense respect for our friendly neighborhood serial killers and demonstrate this regularly by staying out of their territory.
Those who love the great outdoors had plenty to share after Redditor Your_Normal_Loser asked the online community, "
Hikers of Reddit, what is the weirdest or creepiest thing you've come across while hiking?"
"The only reason..."
"When we were exploring the Australian Outback as university students, my friend and I found an old, tightly wrapped plastic bag with five or six damaged wallets along shrubbery at the base of a cliff.
The only reason we opened it up was because we were so remote - hundreds of kilometres from any town or tourist attraction - that it was strange to see garbage out there. All the cards were in female names and birthdates placed them in their late teens to early 20s. Some lived in the Northern Territory but one was in Sydney and another from Queensland. At the time we figured rock climbers must have stored their valuables in the bag and then lost track of it. I'll never forget the strange look the police officer gave us when we handed them in."
You see... this is why I wouldn't go mess around in the Australian Outback.
I also may or may not have watched Wolf Creek one too many times.
"A recliner on a small hill with a hole dug out in the middle and water bottles all over the place."
"A trashed campsite..."
"A trashed campsite complete with the tent cut open...
...do you report these things, or what?"
Or maybe not... you might want to turn back.
"The walls were completely plastered..."
"I was walking in a thick forest and came across an opening. In the center there was a shack made of lumber, with a bench built into it that was slightly leaned back.
The walls were completely plastered in porn."
Well... that's one way to get off.
"The man stopped talking..."
"I was backpacking with a few friends. A few days in the middle of nowhere, a man approached our camp as we were cooking dinner to say hi. We talked about our routes for a few minutes. Out of nowhere, he told us that he had had a vasectomy in his 30s after his 2nd child. Then somehow his wife had gotten pregnant with his 3rd child. He didn't believe this was possible, so he demanded a DNA test to see if he was actually the father. He was. Still, he explained that he had his doubts and thought that his wife must have fixed the DNA test.
My friends and I were in our 20s and had no idea why this guy was telling us this. We all just nodded and smiled.
The man stopped talking and then just walked away into the night."
"I stepped in..."
"I stepped in and fell over a cow carcass on a night hike. It was a bright moonlit night but I didn't see it in the shadows. Thankfully it was mostly dry."
"We still have no idea..."
"I was in the woods with three friends at night. A friend's house was nearby and I was getting hungry so I went inside to find some food. Another friend came inside with me. Two friends were still outside.
Later on, one of the two who outside came in and sees the indoor friend on the couch next to me. They panic and immediately run back outside.
I poke my head out the door asking what's going on, only to hear them yell as loudly as they can, "THAT'S NOT KEVIN"
Everyone comes inside and calms down a bit, and the story comes out. They thought the friend who was indoors with me (Kevin) had been outside with them this entire time. Why? Because in the darkness of the woods they saw a silhouette about the same height walking alongside them silently, then at some point it ran away and they were chasing it thinking Kevin was running off for some reason. The reason my friend yelled, "That's not Kevin" was to stop the last outdoor friend from chasing whoever was out there deeper into the woods.
We still have no idea who that was or why they didn't even speak."
This story sent a chill running down my spine.
Who was that?!
Perhaps figuring it out would be even scarier.
"Went hiking with my dad..."
"Went hiking with my dad one day over a ridge. A girl from the group in front of us tripped and slid down one side and was just able to hold on to the tiniest branch from the only tree around. Had she slid down all the way she certainly would be dead or massively injured!"
"I was trying to make my way across..."
"I was hiking in Washington sometime in December. I was trying to make my way across a river but the bridge was out. I was walking along the shore looking for a shallow spot but couldn't find one. I saw some footprints leading down the bank, my thought was that someone was trying to do what I was doing and decided to track the prints to see if they crossed. It was not easy but I followed the prints for about a mile. As I approached what looked like a crossing I heard a loud BANG like a stick hitting a tree. I froze for a few seconds and heard no other noises. I just slowly back up keeping my eyes on the other side of the river. Could not shake the feeling that I was being watched. Got the hell out of there quick as I could."
There are few feelings creepier than the feeling of being watched. It makes you feel like you've been violated in some way.
Thankfully you got out of there!
"I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment..."
"I was hiking with some friends, and I saw a cluster of butterflies on the ground. I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment until I realized they were congregating on a pool of blood. It turns out that someone had been hiking on the bluffs above earlier that day, and had fallen off and died."
Sooo... still want to go hiking or camping? None of this changed your mind? None of it?
It was nice knowing you. I'll stick with my running water.
Have some creepy stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Have some experiences of your own? Have you also survived the hospitality industry? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!
Time is of the essence. And time is not definable. Those are lessons we learn as we get older; as times passes and fluctuates in front of us.
Time is always fleeting yet always catches up to us. I find myself shocked when I wake up on certain days and realize I'm a particular age of my parent that sticks out for me.
Like, how did that happen? I guess I should just be thankful I'm still here to witness it all.
Redditor u/TW1103 wanted to discuss the meaning... of time and all of its affects by asking:
What fact really puts the scale of time into an insane perspective?
Ok, who is watching the clock? Those seconds aren't going to count themselves. The only way to understand time is to be its witness. Although that can get depressing. Let's focus on the light and cool.
History...Calculate Figure It Out GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"If you are an 80-year-old American, you have lived through approximately 1/3 of our nation's entire history."
"The 80s were 40 years ago."
"This is what messes me up because I was born in 82 and graduated high school in 2000 so for some reason my brain is stuck on the 80's being twenty years ago. The 70's thirty years ago etc etc. I have to stop and realize sometimes that my concept of how long ago things happened is way off."
Time goes by...
"We observe that light travels at 186,000 miles a second, but given the vast size of the observable universe, that's a snail's pace. But from the point of view of a particle of light, time doesn't even exist."
"Time slows down as you approach the speed of light, and theoretically stops completely when you reach the speed of light."
Years Gone By...
"MLK Jr. and Anne Frank were born in the same year."
"Betty White was born in 1922. Automatically pre-sliced packaged bread loaves became commercially available in 1928. Betty White is six years older than sliced bread."
Long Live the Queen!queen elizabeth images GIFGiphy
"The queen and Marilyn Monroe would've been the same age."
I swear Liz is going to outlive dirt. Wait, I believe she already has. Well she won't be alone, she'll have Betty White. At least she better have Betty. Time is nothing without Queen Betty.
TV TimeSeason 2 Omg GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Happy Days was a TV show made in the 1970s-80s about teenagers in the 1950s. Similarly, That 70s Show was made in the 90s-00s about teenagers in the 70s. If a similar show were to be made today, it would be about teenagers in the 2000s."
"If a T-Rex imagined a creature as ancient as the T-Rex is to us, it would be a Stegosaurus. If that Stegosaurus imagined a creature as ancient as the Stegosaurus is to us, it would be a Crocodile. If that Crocodile imagined a creature as ancient as that Crocodile is to us, it would be a Shark."
On the Clock
"On a twenty four hour clock the amount of time that humans have been on the earth would total around five seconds."
"How about this one: If Homo Habilus first appeared at midnight, 24 hours ago, that means the first Homo Sapiens appeared at 9:25 PM, or about 2 and a half hours ago. The first human civilization, in lower Mesopotamia, appeared at 11:57 PM, or about 3 minutes ago."
"The Western Roman Empire fell at 11:59 PM, or 1 minute ago. Everything that has happened since - the Crusades, the Plague, the discovery of the New World, the world wars, all of it - has happened in the last minute of human existence."
And that's just OUR Sun...
"The span of our lives are so insignificantly small that our Sun will last another 5 billion years. That's 9 zeros people. Our eldest live to around 100 in the best places. That's 50,000,000 (50 million) times longer than any person can reasonably expect to live. And that's just OUR Sun. The universe as a whole has probably existed for magnitudes longer than that already and will continue to exist until the end of time as we know it."
Tell Me a Storywilliam shakespeare GIF by will herringGiphy
"We know what a good storyteller Shakespeare was but there were Greek playwrights who wrote shows nearly 2,000 years earlier that are pretty good, too."
I hate time. Only because I'm petty and irritated of the amount I squandered. That's neither here nor there though. Time marches on and continues to amaze. I'll keep watching.
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