Variety is the spice of life, according to the time-honored saying. Amen to that, I say.
It’s always a pleasure to discuss, debate, share, or simply just listen, with folk from all walks of life and all manner of beliefs and cultures. One learns, eventually, that apart from the “consensus” truth that the majority of us share, there is a subjective truth that is unique to each of us: That which we hold to be true in our hearts. It might be belief in a God. Or the absence of God for that matter. It might involve adherence to a major religion, or a little known cult. It might be a belief that extraterrestrials are going to save us from ourselves, or enslave us! The benefits of marijuana; the joys of a meat-free lifestyle. So many beliefs and ideas. One does not have to share the beliefs of others to take the time to enjoy learning about them.
However. There are always a number of adherents to a particular faith or belief who get a little carried away. The ones who insist that THEIR truth is THE truth and all the other “truths” are wrong. Engage in discussion with these individuals and you may be subjected to a subtle “soft sell”; a series of subtly leading questions taking a winding path to “the truth”. Or perhaps you may be given a “hard sell”; a series of brutal, shocking “facts” about the “lie” one is currently living, and of course, the inevitable salvation by following the path of truth. These overzealous pulpiteers exercise their right to freely communicate their beliefs while attempting to deny the same rights and freedoms of anyone who believes differently.
More than one potential “guide to The Truth” has come away from an encounter with Yours Truly disappointed after I respectfully and politely-but-firmly declined to abandon my own subjective beliefs (along with caution and discernment) to follow the Piper’s hypnotic tune.
Occasionally, one encounters believers so determined, that they will challenge one to prove them wrong. Not a good idea. A surprising number of people do not want their beliefs subjected to cold hard facts, even after willingly putting those beliefs up for scrutiny:
If one cannot handle having one’s beliefs questioned, then don’t invite the inquisition!
Some “Truth messengers” will bombard one with a formidable amount of data (usually misrepresented as “facts”). And while some of this information, usually presented in the form of an article or booklet, is certainly food for thought and sometimes quite compelling, inevitably it quickly descends into absurdity.
And predictably, somewhere along the way, the catch-all, common-cause-of-the -age, Human Made Global Warming comes into the picture. More on this in an upcoming blog, but here’s couple of examples of self-assassinating silliness:
Take for instance an anti-marijuana piece (marijuana being the cause of all evil in the world apparently!) that was recently sent my way. Yes, every joint lit and smoked is pumping more carbon into the atmosphere. Shocking. Awful. What the author of this shocking revelation forgot to mention was a rather obvious point. Marijuana is a plant. You know: one of those things that absorbs carbon. The green lungs of Mother Earth. The same article contained many other cherry-picked and unintentionally comedic facts to bolster the author’s personal beliefs. Do you know how much plastic the marijuana industry uses annually? I’m no expert, but I was under the impression that the average joint was wrapped with paper..? Walk down a supermarket aisle: You want to ban every item that comes packaged in plastic? Or would you like your Greek Yoghurt in a paper bag?
Hey, look: Some people enjoy weed, some believe it’s a dreadful thing. Each to their own. But for pity’s sake, don’t try to force your beliefs onto the rest of us with the aid of with ridiculous and irrelevant “facts”!
Here’s another. Veganism. Practically a religion. And promoted with suitably religious fervor. The author was faced recently with an informative “fact sheet” on Veganism and the evils of consuming animal product. To be fair it was rather nicely put together and made some good points. And unfortunately some not so good ones. Yes, Global Warming came into the picture (Cow farts and cooking meat). But the one that really entertained the author was the comparison of the health risks of eggs and cigarettes. I shitteth ye not. By eggs, I mean the organic ovoid things that Mother Nature filled with proteins, minerals and nutrients intended to sustain a chicken embryo. By cigarettes, I mean those tubular paper things filled with dried tobacco leaf that contain tar and nicotine. I have yet to see a chicken embryo successfully grown within a cigarette. I have yet to see anyone cook and consume a cigarette. Perhaps McD should put a Bacon-Tobacco MacMuffin on the brekkie menu? Or should we be lighting eggs and attempting to smoke them? I did watch a friend smoke a chicken once though. It was dead at the time (killed humanely) and tasted delicious afterwards.
Sorry Vegans: I respect your right to practice a veg-only lifestyle, but please don’t try scaremongering us consumers-of-animal-products with preposterous comparisons. Unless you are intentionally fishing for a humorous response.
Variety is indeed the spice of life. It will be a sad day indeed when all beliefs, cultures, choices and individual thoughts are extinguished through ignorance, intolerance, and an unquestioning acceptance of nonsense. Let’s not go down that path.