Sunday 11 September 2011

"It's a moo point - a cow's opinion" (Joey from Friends)

Someone said something the other day that made me feel that my parenting was inferior to a friend's. It was an innocent remark and nothing was meant by it - in fact she was complimenting the other woman's child. I took it personally on behalf of my son. Then someone sent one of those feel good email stories featuring a heartwarming tale about the innocence of youth. I wondered if this really was a story about cute innocence or a comment about how foolish the child was to think that God was taking her photo when lightning flashed.

Feeling offended on behalf of others could be a full time occupation for me if I didn't have plenty else to do. I used to get offended by every little thing and then I realised it was pretty pointless. After all, just as I have an opinion about every little thing so does the person who's saying something critical to or about me. Instead of arguing the toss I'd rather try and find something vaguely amusing about their efforts.

The vehemence of atheists always interests me as they spend an inordinate amount of effort criticising something they don't believe in. I do have a faith and if someone doesn't it really isn't something I feel bad about. I'm not going to spend energy convincing someone to believe in God if they don't want to - that's like trying to get my husband to eat cauliflower by calling it gobi instead. If you spend time espousing the wisdom of Richard Dawkins, why not just go the whole nine yards - wear a nice suit and knock on doors to tell people to believe in him like you do.

Similarly it baffles me that there are meat eaters who get very irate about vegetarianism, as though it's a personal affront. Why does someone else not eating meat in any way affect your life ? Do you secretly feel bad about it or is it a way of asserting a primal urge now that you don't have to go out and chase your food to death ? It just isn't the same when it's already dead and packaged nicely in convenient portions delivered by Marlon from Waitrose in the strawberry van now is it ?

I'm not militant about food or about religion - it's personal. However, one of many points of intolerance for me is when a person says they don't vote and justifies this decision with "it makes no difference, they're all the same." Well, so are people who don't vote. You have rendered yourself ineligible to express an opinion if you can't even be bothered to take part in the process. Just as I judge anyone who writes 'could of,' 'alot' or 'definately' as illiterate, if you tell me there's no point in voting consider anything said after that as having disappeared into the ether as I just stopped listening to you. 

For the same reasons not everyone will have made it as far as this sentence (unless you're one of those 'speed reader' types who reads the last line to see if it's worth reading the bit in the middle) - if you did, thanks :o) 

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