Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Intolerance

Jean Purcell

I admit that I have a streak of intolerance. I grew up in a household where cursing and hateful speech toward other people never happened. That rubbed off on me, and I am, whether silently or not, intolerant about profane and hateful speech, right and left. My parents, grandmother, and older brothers never commented on their ways of minding their own business. However, I suspect that their lack of anger or hatred came from quiet spiritual influences. Their kind of intolerance of wrongs affected how they lived.     

My parents lived for several years within a tough business environment where dishonesty sometimes reared its head, including through otherwise-trusted people. Mom and Dad, and my brothers, were intolerant of prejudice. They did not like words or actions against innocent people considered to be 'different.' 

For example, my dad employed people of different cultural, religious, and racial backgrounds, in the 1940s and '50s, in a small southern town. One summer, I heard at the dinner table that Dad had hired a young man with severe epilepsy. That was before improved medical treatments we know about today; epileptics had a lot of trouble getting or keeping jobs. 

The new employee had given assurances that his condition was under better control, and Dad hired him to be an announcer as a summer replacement at the radio station (which later, for a while, was an ABC affiliate). (WWGP has been sold and re-sold since Dad's time.) In those days, Dad's decision meant that an epileptic man would be "live, on air." Members of the staff learned what emergency action to take if a health emergency arose. Thankfully, no emergency ever happened.  

As I grew up, I took my parents' actions for granted; I thought everyone thought as they did. Eventually, I framed my intolerance in similar ways, after trying to think through what I observed as I moved out into the world more.  

That early influence in family surely affected how I see events and feel about them. I reserve others' and my own right to express opinions, beliefs, or views different from the PC or generally popular, without worry of being personally attacked. To debate points of view, however, is another thing, completely acceptable as part of communicating ideas. But over-hearing personal vitriol against peaceful individuals or groups stirs up my instincts to speak my mind. I believe that silence is not always golden; it can be dangerous. 

"A soft answer turns away wrath." That helps me. It says that a person may answer the anger of others; however, if they answer, they are wise to answer calmly. Think about it. That's the message that helps the most. Another saying: "Be sure your mind is loaded before you shoot off your mouth" is good advice!    
On a lighter-serious side, I have a highly personal intolerance for: sulfa drugs, full-strength aspirin, and rabid mosquitoes!
Just in: Try not to charge a mobile phone's battery for more than four hours. Charging for more hours, including overnight charges, can reduce battery-life. 

Finished reading: The Racketeer by John Grisham, now in Jean's Hand-picked Books. Copyright (c) 2013 Opinari Writers-Jean Purcell

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