There's been talk in the news lately about tolerance - or a lack of it - at European soccer matches. Intolerance by the white majority of others, of foreigners, of immigrants. And of course it's not relevant to them that at one time they were immigrants too. Should they be banned, should they be allowed to take part but with conditions - more debates.
We all see intolerance around us wherever we are, and hopefully try to avoid it in ourselves. In my neighbourhood it's mainly over political views - liberal, conservative, or socialist. It's a lower-middle class area, so there's not much intolerance/prejudice about income, other than some jealousy over the richer areas to the west of here, with their renovated houses, SUV's, $500 strollers. I do try to add some balance to the more partisan political rants I hear, but many of them have a religious-like fervour to their beliefs - facts and logic are not needed. I do try to shut down racist humour, calling out friends when they get carried away. It can be limiting for some though, trying to be funny without offending someone.
I ran into a specific instance recently that bothered me, as it was targeted at me. One of the many groups I belong to is comprised of people that are particularly good at solving logic puzzles. A unique ability, but not necessarily one that assures success in life and/or world domination. Like many groups, though, it does offer an opportunity to socialize and converse with similar people, people that love sparkly things, that "get" you, and will tolerate your quirks. Many of us in this group do have more than our fair share of quirks to be tolerated too - sort of like Sheldon on Big Bang Theory. I was therefore surprised the other day to come under personal attack by one of the members. Some of us were discussing cyclists, as in a club, then got on to cyclists in general. I offered how annoying it is when some cyclists want to selectively follow only some of the rules of the road. Those that assert their right to share the road (no problem with that) while also blowing through red lights, grabbing a short cut down a busy sidewalk, and sneaking up one way streets the wrong way. Several of us shared our irritation at this, and I thought we were done with it at that. But then one member- a hard core club cyclist - took it as a personal attack, and retaliated with insults such as the 'you're against cyclists because you're all fat and out of shape' argument. This person has always had an arrogant and superior side - which others tolerated - but this showed a surprising lack of not just tolerance, but also logic. I realize much intolerance stems from insecurity, and is used as an attack to put someone down lower than you - and you supposedly then higher. But still too bad - especially in light of the tolerance many have shown this person already.
Edit - I decided to challenge this person on their rudeness and intolerance, and ask for an apology. Unfortunately the resultant apology, still arrogant and superior, missed the point and just added in even more insults. I quit that futility, but decided I won't avoid group events with this person, I'll just avoid the person at events. And perhaps save them a special spot in a novel - anonymous of course. Seriously, I do believe it's important to confront those that are behaving like a bully, intolerant, racist - whatever. Especially since this is LGBT Pride month in many countries.
My short story for Flash Fiction Friday this week was on the assigned topic Cowboys and Indians. I used the opportunity to talk a bit about intolerance. The link is below in my objectives.
- Taxes -still filing and collecting papers - the longest part.
- The Plan - spent some time looking at various free planning programs. Found a good one - GanttProject. Not too complex, free, and can export/import to a simple iPad app.
- WIP - it's still resting
- Daily writing - trying to do about 500 wds a day, just to get in the habit. Means a few days on my two weekly flash fiction challenges, then some character sketches.
- Flash Fiction - finished one, for Flash Fiction Friday, on Cowboys and Indians.
- Blogs - oops, several days behind. How did that happen? Added another one, along with it's newsletters - Jeff Goins and his Great Writers series.
- Social Media - following several FaceBook groups - ROW80, Creative Writing Circle, and Ottawa Writers.
- Exercise - going well - keeping at 7-10 k step range on pedometer, listen to tunes or podcasts as I walk.
- Reading - fiction - Downloaded next sci-fi book for our little club - Ready Player One. Will read on my iPad.
- Reading - non-fiction - none
- trying to learn keyboard commands for Aram II video game so can join my son online. I'm really not very good at these.
- picked up my newly painted trombone case - awesome. Will go to art show by the artist (Sarah Doll) tonight, then catch open stage at a local tavern - several friends are playing.