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The Golden Rule

For those of you that were absent from Sunday School that day, its: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

I like to think of myself as a nice person.  I try to be polite and reasonable to everyone I meet...even telemarketers and Jehovah's Witnesses.  Yes, we all hate that they call us or knock on our doors.  But I cannot bring myself to be rude to someone who is just doing their job.

Telemarketing is a terrible, thankless job.  They probably have every name screamed at them, phones slammed in their ears.  But I just cant bring myself to stop thinking about the human being on the other end of the line.  I tell the telemarketers "I know  you are just doing your job, but please, no thank you. I have no interest in your product.  No thank you.  No thank you, please remove my name from your list."  They are required to keep going for 3 nos, so once you get there,  They hang up pretty quickly.

My MIL and I were discussing it once and she said "Well, they should just get a different job!"  Having just come off of 2 years on unemployment looking for work....I have a little more sympathy.  Sometimes, that's the best job they can get for now.

The various religious affiliations that knock on my door with more regularity are trickier.  I live in a lower middle class area with closer together houses and flat streets with little traffic.  We get someone about once a month.  Again, these are people, in many cases my neighbors from the area.   They want to talk with me, but I cannot bear to be rude to them.  DH says I talk too much, but they are just enthusiastic about their relationship with God and want to share.  Didn't you rave about that movie or restaurant or store the other day?

Being utterly secure in my relationship with God also gives me the armor to tell them "I believe that there are great truths in all books, not just the Bible.  I believe in one God, and all religions are just different paths to understanding.  I believe in respect for all people and I respect what you are doing, but its not what I want."  The last set of door knockers were two young Mormon men, neither of which was wearing a hat on a super cold day in January.  So then I got all Mom on them and asked where were their hats and gloves on this chilly day. 

What inspired me to write this - well, its something I was thinking about for a while, but then Will Wheaton posted about his experience at MegaCon including this line "it’s important to me to treat people the way I want to be treated." And I am reminded that I am not the only one out there.

Incidentally, his post has an story (unrelated to this), if it doesnt bring tears to your eyes, I'm not sure you are human.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2013 01:18 am (UTC)
Wil Wheaton is sort of the poster child for parasociality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasocial_interaction) which makes people do some pretty sad and dangerous things which makes me worry about Wil Wheaton and his family even though I don't "know" him which is parasociality in action and the whole thing just becomes Way! Too! Meta! and I have to go lay down.

But yes, he is Teh Awesome.

Edited at 2013-03-20 01:21 am (UTC)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )