Remember that awkward conversation I had with my co-worker about gay marriage? And how he had all these preconceived notions about pedophilia, corrupt morals etc. linked to LGBT's (some acronym Icame across for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender)? And how he is super-religious and from India and how I felt that horrible crack as the chasm opened and all hope of really liking him plummeted in the face of all that bigotry?
Well, I have changed my mind. No, not about LGBT rights, but about compartmentalizing people's prejudices. I have a hard time with that one, because if someone holds hateful points of view, I get offended and really turned off of them as people. Or else I get pedantic, and try to point out the hate in their opinions.
Personal example: Last night, I saw this ex of an ex (she dated him after we broke up) who positively loathed me (in an ungrounded way), to the extent that I was once disinvited to a party her request. This really upset me, of course. I don't *do* enmity.
For ages, I would imagine these confrontations wherein I would point out her absurd paranoia and jealous meanspiritedness and tell her how uncomfortable she made me feel. Well, last night I saw her after class. We were both hailing a cab. "Hi!," I said. "Wanna share a cab?" And we did. No flies on us.
Global example: Today, the homophobe in question brought me some of his father's homemade curry (have I told you how kind my coworkers are?) and sweetly insisted I try it. It was delicious and tasted of his home, I imagine, and his doting father's ministrations, and I don't know where I am going with this.
What am I trying to say? That if I surround myself with like-minded people, I am kidding myself and dulling my intellect. It would be a shame if I ostracized or alienated people with whom I disagree.
Yes, there are people who are looking for a way to channel loathing, and use words and causes to do so. They can be scary mouth- breathing (got this phrase from WK) lunatics walking around with incomprehensible amounts of anger in their heads and hearts. And in those cases, it may be best to arrive armed, or to plan some subversive action, or to avoid them altogether.
But then there are people with lovely impulses and bigoted opinions, and it is hard to reconcile those opposing qualities. And maybe you don't have to. I guess I am trying to say that reconcilliation is both way simpler and far more difficult than I ever imagined.