Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Hello. I'd Like to Have an Argument."

It's been another one of those crazy weeks. People disappearing, people popping up out of nowhere, health problems with people around me, and the usual insanity I call my life. And then, I made the mistake last weekend of answering a question on an online forum: do you believe in ghosts? I said more than just 'yes'.

In hindsight, it was a bad idea. Many people respond in grunts, syllables, or not at all to statements that they know will lead to arguments or complaints. One-word responses leave little to fight over. But some people just like arguing.

What followed was a prolonged attack since, apparently, stating that I'm a "paranormal investigator" automatically means I speak on behalf of every parapsychologist, researcher, professor, scientist, writer, ghost hunter, and anyone else (alive or dead) in any way connected to the field. The same old arguments rehashed a billion times flung at me, demanding ultimate "proof". But, of course, it wasn't in a polite discourse; it's the typical heckling of someone who, no matter what is presented to them, remains convinced that you're an idiot.

I see we haven't changed much since the Puritans. Witch hunts are still happening. Different is bad. In only a few sentences stating my opinions, I instantly turned into Frankenstein's monster. What do you do? If you walk away, you're supposedly admitting "that they are right", but if you stand and defend yourself, you're "absurd". It's a lose-lose situation. But it comes from speaking your mind and being a part of this field. Opening your mouth makes you a target of torch-bearing townsfolk rallying to "burn the witch".

I hate arguing. Especially when it's pointless or when someone belittles your words because "they know everything". Real stupidity comes from believing that you're omniscient and omnipotent. Only wise people know that they don't know everything. but I let it go on for a while before stopping and thinking, "what the hell am I doing?" Discussing something with someone who can't see beyond their own window to the world is the most wasteful thing anyone can do.

I like letting people make their own informed opinions, as everyone should. Don't just spit out what someone else told you; review everything and form your own opinion. And if it's different from someone else's, big friggin' deal! Guess what? Everyone has an opinion, a belief, a perspective. Being loud doesn't mean you know more than someone else; it just means your mouth opens wider.

Humankind has the capacity to become rabid dogs. People like to gang up with viciousness to feel inflated about their own superiority. But, when the attack is on them, everything is very different. That's just mean! Well, that's just human nature. Evil doesn't come from supernatural demons, it comes from the depths of humankind. Humanity has a tendency to be inhumane. And it circles itself; call it karma if you wish, but the stream of putrid words we sometimes spill out come back at us in a different form. And when they do, we have no right to complain. We did it once ourselves.

Agreeing to disagree or seeing another viewpoint is a challenge for many people. But we all see the world differently. Every man or woman is the product of his or her collective beliefs, experience, and thoughts. More time is wasted on pointless back-and-forth banter than actual reasoning. In a way, it's comical. If people could see the humor in it, of course.

I guess what bothers me most is, being an open-minded person, I expect to be treated as I treat others. I could be cruel and nasty many times, but I choose to let most things slide. I try to make people think and reason, prepare for what is coming, yet it is labeled "non-conformity". So what? I'm not a conformist. I'm an individual. If I'm the only one not running with the herd, it makes me an independent thinker not an anarchist. Different is good; different brings about revolutionary thought and ideas. If it weren't for outcasts, nothing would ever change. Ideas are what separate us from our inner animal. If being a non-ape makes me a bad person to somepeople, I'll settle for that.

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