Ignorance is bliss...
But only for the ignorant.
For every body else it is like the obligatory nails on a chalk board or chewing on tin foil.
For me it is a retracted jaw, questioning eyebrows, a suddenly sour taste in my mouth, fingertips rising to my temples, and my brain reminding my breath to slow down and cleanse the bad vibes.
It is almost as if I cannot even process what is happening. My eyelids will usually shut and I will shake my head ever so slightly as the information attempts to seep into my brain; It only gets so far before it is rejected and the questioning look appears on my face again.
Conviction is wonderful. Passion makes the sun a little brighter and the sky a little more blue; however, spewing daft remarks without regard for your surroundings or without knowledge of the company you keep, is disturbingly wrong.
Today I was approached with this super-awesome bombshell:
"Don't feel bad for the people in Nepal. They had it coming. All those Eastern countries with their beliefs in many gods. God said believe in none but me. God is jealous and God has punished them accordingly."
I was wishing it was April 1st instead of May 5th and the man would have winked and with two finger-guns said "April Fools." Even though that would have been a disgusting joke. Instead, this man was dead set that I shouldn't feel any remorse for the several thousands people whose lives were lost when an earthquake destroyed a country. Never mind that while many of those who were killed may have been Nepalese, many were also American, English, Thai, French, Indian, and any other number of ethnicities, races, and religions.
I immediately wished I was somewhere else.
I immediately wished this conversation wasn't happening.
Instead of defending those of no belief or a different belief than this man before me, I sighed heavily and wished him farewell. I could have fought back. I could have let him know what my beliefs were - he was quite adamantly telling me about his. I could have done a great number of things. I could have become enraged and told him how angry I was with his ignorance, but I didn't. I chose the high road and let him go.
I don't fault him for his belief - we were all a product of our upbringing. Clearly his wasn't very broad.
All too often it doesn't work out the way I handled it, and believe me, I am still whining about how awful his comments were 5 hours later, but I am glad I handled it the way I did.
We are often tried with times of keeping our mouths shut when people around us say any number of things we disagree with. With social media, we seem to get a clear view of exactly how people feel on any given topic, as well as their faith, which current events they are most passionate about, on top of what they may have eaten for dinner. More often than not, people just retort. They have to let you know their two cents, they have to tell you exactly how they feel as if it matters to anyone except themselves.
I am known for speaking my mind, but never, have I ever, been glad people died because they thought differently or believed differently than me.
I am sickened that a person like that lives in the same society I do.
People like that guy don't even deserve for me to fight back.
They deserve for me to walk away, just like I did.
And next time I see him, a month from now, I will definitely not have the same smile on my face.