Oh, don’t get me wrong – this is not going to be a post where I muse and gloat about the few things in the world that I’ve not yet understood. To set that record straight – there are gazillions of things that I don’t get, scoring in a range from ”well, not quite…” to utterly blank, not even sure I caught the words of the concept.
Rather, I am aiming for a short discourse of things where the concept or the things that people mysteriously do simply baffles me.
To get the easy ones crossed off the list: decaffeinated coffee, alcohol-free beer and most things with “light” (or “lite” – but let’s not go there… ;)) on the label. For the first two: Put on the edge, I either want them, all effects included, or I’ll choose something more benign. As to the latter – ok, as a rule I actually do not put butter on my bread. But when I do, you bet I want the real thing, not some constructed low-everything look-alike spread. Taste and quality counts! So, rather less of it but when it is, it’s the real thing and not a bad replica. Dixi!
A harder one – the kind that involves other people and why on Earth do they…? This one comes in many colours and disguises – I call it “surroundings blindness”. You know the type – on the way out of the theater, they stop one meter outside the door, in the absolute middle of the logical walking path for everybody, and puts on coats or lights up smokes or phones. And blocks passage. Or they park their trolley across a lane in the supermarket while they idly peruse available offers or chat to one another. Or drive 15 km/h below the speed limit in the middle lane on the motorway. Deaf, dumb and blind to the fact that they hinder everyone else in getting past in anything near normal, expectable, hassle-free mode. Harumpf.
The last one is also far the most worrisome. Über-righteousness is the best label I can plaster on this one. More often than not linked to religion, these are the people who feel so strongly about The Only Right Way™ that they will go through fire and water plus all kinds of hoops as well as sacrifice any remains of humanity and empathy to ensure that all human kind will live their lives following the same rules to the letter.
They use legislation with little regard for constitutions, thinly veiled threats of outcasting those who stray, whatever economic sanctions they can think of – all the way to threatened or actual hardcore violence to get their way – on everybody’s behalf.
Whether it is abortion rights they don’t approve of, what to wear they do approve of, whether or not to listen to music, who to stand next to on the street, say hello to or just be in the same room as, who you may spend your life with – they believe that it is their right to insist that you live your life in the exact same way as they believe is right. Whether or not you subscribe to the same book or not is irrelevant, even in the countries where (Thank Bob) there is freedom to do so. What they are convinced of is so obviously the only possible right way that you must obey it, come hell or high water. And Zey Haf Vays of making sure you do!
Now, this is not against religion. I have nothing what so ever against people of faith. Actually, I often almost admire their ability to stick to it in a confusing, ever more fragmented world. But hey – live your life according to it. Even try to recommend it to others by way of its virtues, if you must. But do not force it onto anyone who do not belong to the same sect – do not insist, force of even expect them to obey your rules.
I never will understand you as long as you do.
Image courtesy of Sharon Drummond on Flickr