I worked hard yesterday making final preparations for the Masons’ first meeting in the Odd Fellow Lodge. Tension with the building manager made everything more difficult. I’ve been hated before, but rarely by people I see all the time. I ask myself why it should be a problem. Well, maybe there’s no good reason. Maybe it will just take some getting used to. I did as I thought right, and I expected to be treated as I am being treated. I see this as a learning experience, the lesson being that it’s okay to be hated.
I’ve known people who fell overboard in this regard, militant atheists being a case in point. I had two friends in Mississippi who se bumper stickers made fun of Jesus. On one of our trips together, we drove to Lexington, Kentucky, for an American Atheist convention. I was sick with a cold and only wanted to lie in the back and sleep, but I kept being awakened by horns honking and people screaming profanities. John and Paul were laughing their heads off, while I was wondering if I would live to get home. You might think that they were bad-asses, but they were anything but. John was 68 and weighed 450 pounds; Paul was 85 and hardly weighed 120; and neither was armed with anything.
In Lexington, I asked Robin (Madelyn Murray O’Hair’s granddaughter how she could survive having such hatred directed at her. She said she had learned to not take it personally.
It was meant personally, but Robin had the right idea. Regarding vicious people as if they were vicious dogs, and dealing with them matter of factly instead of hatefully is surely the best policy. This might be what’s hard for me. What I want to do is to let the building manager have it with both barrels, but I’m determined to conduct myself with dignity, because I know I would only make a bad situation worse. Why stomp on what’s already broken?
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