A response to intolerance.
I’ve never understood why people feel the need to pressure someone to conform. Why are they so intimidated by someone daring to think for themselves, pursue their own dreams and make choices according to their own preferences?
And what I really don’t get is how they can say they love someone and yet reject particular qualities that makes that person who they are.
These are the thoughts that have contributed to a poem I finished recently.
The imagery is macabre and horrifying. The message is dark. None of that will surprise anyone who knows my writing.
I won’t discuss the details of the situations that led to it being written. Suffice to say that there are people in various “circles” in which I live and move who have, at one time or another, exerted significant pressure on me to be less individual and more compliant with the way they like or want things to be.
I have some bad news for them.
I will not submit to their peer pressure. As adults, they should know better.
I will not moderate my politics, my social conscience, or my rampant individuality for them.
I will not be submissive or silent in response to their bad behaviour, intolerance and hypocrisy.
If they don’t like it, they can go and boil their heads.
Of course, that’s all excellent news for me. In the immortal words of the Monty Python team, “I’m not dead yet!”
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A very good friend of mine has been on the receiving end of some butt-ugly treatment lately.
It’s the second time in the last 18 months that I have been aware of people I know wilfully acting to assassinate someone’s character. Those people should hang their heads in shame. They absolutely know better. They are intelligent, professional people with families of their own.
My friend is not perfect. I don’t see how that justifies anything. She is fully aware of her flaws, and nobody is perfect, least of all me. There is no excuse for the way she has been treated.
The following are ugly and ungodly behaviours which amount to verbal bullying and vilification:
1. Sharing someone else’s story or personal information when one has no business doing so.
2. Telling a story about someone when one has only heard half of it.
3. Going behind someone’s back and telling falsehoods or half-truths about people to those who are their friends.
4. Attempting to ingratiate oneself by putting someone else down.
5. Veiling these behaviours behind “I thought you should know” or “We need to pray for ******” or “I am so concerned, I had to share it with someone”.
6. Taking pleasure in gossip or in shaming someone.
Do not ever ask me to listen to or excuse these things.
These are not things friends do.
These are not things nice people do.
Sadly, they are things that some people who claim to be Christians do.
What ever happened to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “Love your neighbour as yourself”?