Yesterday morning I had a Doctor appointment and as I was sitting in the waiting area I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman looking lonely. I normally don’t struck up conversations with strangers very easily, but he looked friendly with his fluffy white mustache, and I love senior citizens as a whole, so we started talking about the desert being in bloom and gardening.
When I started telling him about my 86 year old dad and his garden in Italy and about my grandparents’ mini-farm they had in the 60s and 70s he got really silent and then blurted out, without warning, how he would “never” go to Europe because of the “muslim” situation.
To be honest, I was a little baffled at this comment. I’ve been in Europe as recently as this past summer and I felt actually safer there than I am here all things considered.
I wonder when was the last time he was in Europe? Probably never.
He continued by specifying about all the bombings going on. When I told him that extremists are everywhere, of every religion, he got hateful to the nth degree. He said that there are no “good” muslims anywhere, how they “pretend” to be your friend before they plot to kill you, and he also said he hated refugees and does not feel sorry for them at all!! Good God, he even stated he hated jews!!
I was so shocked I just sat there in silence even as he stated that he hoped a bomb went off in Mecca killing as many muslims as possible. I just let him talk, let him spew his hate, as I watched him in horror.
How he turned this conversations about blooming poppies to hate and fear in an instant was so startling to me that I could not think about anything else the entire day. I don’t regret not telling him he was wrong. People like that need to be left to brew in their hate. Nothing I could have said would have changed his mind anyway.
I also wondered what made him such a hateful person to begin with. Was it his religion? His politics? His family dynamics? When he abruptly had to leave when his wife arrived, I was thankful and relieved. Hate was leaving the building… and I was gracious to him… “nice chatting with you”, I told him, as he was looking at me weirdly (most likely because I failed to agree or nod approvingly at all his spewed hatred) and left.
This morning, as I woke up to a brand new day, I decided to write this incident down in my blog with the intention of “letting go” of it and treat it as a teaching moment. Some moments in our life teach us how to be, some teach us how NOT to be. So, this moment in my life will strengthen my resolve to be even MORE loving, MORE understanding, LESS fearful, LESS judgemental. That may not stop any bombings anywhere or the hate and ugliness around me, but it can improve MY daily life considerably.
Remember the Law of Attraction? Positive thoughts are magnets for positive life experiences. It’s helping me.