Yesterday I had the dubious…. well, it certainly wasn’t an honour. It was actually a great deal of exasperation. At the table next to mine, I was ‘blessed’ with getting to hear a gentleman discussing a series of topics of which he proclaimed himself quite the expert. It was terribly enlightening in some horrifying ways.
One of the things I find extremely interesting is to listen to the conversations that go on around me. This is purposefully eavesdropping, but it’s based entirely on an interest in the flow of conversation and insights into the complexities of other people’s lives. Sometimes I find myself so impressed with others and just how interesting and amazing they are, even knowing that they don’t necessarily find themselves as such. Other times, though, I find myself just wondering how this person could even be a thing.
Zoom in on yesterday. This fine gentleman was a rather incredibly terrible fellow. Beyond the extremely racist types of comments, he was also incredibly pushy and insistent on how he was correct and the women he was speaking with were wrong.
To me, this was an eye opening experience. As someone who tries to be understanding, accepting, and allow for the truth that any one person’s opinion does not exist as an absolute, quite a few of the things this man said was mind-boggling. Like most people, I expect people to react as I react; this is merely a fact of human nature. We learn to be accepting of how others think, of how they’ll react, but, baseline, we expect people first to react as we would react.
Therefore, I naturally expect each person to try to be kind to each other, to be aware of other’s personal space and boundaries. I understand on an intellectual level that not everyone is that way, but, deep down, I believe that people will treat each other with… well, human decency.
I will not go into his comments or actions and, instead, will focus on my reactions. I went from aghast to irritated to angry to just so incredibly baffled that I could hardly process my emotions at all. It is incomprehensible to me that people such as that gentleman can actually exist; he seemed more like a villain from a 90’s cartoon than a thinking human being. I cannot fathom why one’s gender would make a difference on their suitability for a job. Their skill set should be that determination. I cannot understand how one skin color, one ethnicity can be ‘better’ than another. We are all human; skinned we would all appear the same.
Who and what you are is a person; you are no more right or wrong than anyone else. Those around you are also people and they are no more right or wrong than you.