Wednesday, April 7

There Should Be A Pill

Note to Self (and to intellectualizing fiends of modern day)!:

I'm that idiot minority girl that started googling "muslim young" and just clicked whatever suggestion came up first in the search suggestions box. why.?!. I should have just typed what I was looking for, which if I can recall at this point, was going to be something like "muslim young women portrayal"...possibly even "film play skit novel." But instead, I ended up clicking (and to my chagrin, reading) some piece on muslim young brides. So foolish of me, I should have seen what was coming: 1) a few ludicrous paragraphs to be paraded as a serious, researched opinion (BUT WITH PICTURES!!); 2) hundreds of unclear (but loudly typed?) comments from people around the world who give too much time and effort to this crap; 3) my mind, reeling with capslock on.

So yes, I now have to write about it, to add to the list of people who should consider redirecting their well intended efforts towards something better--like volunteering or rescuing puppies.

I get it--what is trying to be said--because there it is, so clearly: All muslims are deluded [predicate nominative]s; They're ruining the world, have been teaming up to terrorize the innocent for centuries, and need to just stop it; Those islams need to shave and stop wearing sandals and learn how to dress better and stop telling women what they can or can't do.

Right?

For someone who has accepted the above claims as Truth, the millions of comments people (Muslim or otherwise) have posted to disprove the statements may be of little to no significance in terms of inspiring a change of mind or heart. I meet young high school and college students who are so eager to illustrate that such claims are fallacious through the utility of logic. And I recognize their sincere intentions. But what makes me cringe is that the fallacy lies in assuming that people, in person or online, speak (post/comment/mobile upload/whatever) rationally. Since when do any of us react rationally to emotional stimuli? When someone who knows nothing except hearsay (and yes, hearsay can be in print) about another faith or culture comes across an instance of injustice (usu. men with beards keeping women with lots of fabric from leaving their homes, men with beards beating men without beards or women without enough fabric, election fraud?), as in any other case where an emotional stimulus is introduced, an emotional response is produced. Where is there room for reason at all? We are all just humans dressing up as rational beings at the end of the day--myself and this silly post included.

I sympathize with individuals who believe that when you come across a wrong, you ought to right it. It isn't the effort or intention of such sincere people I'm criticizing, because it does take courage to right a wrong-every time. But intentions and effort are all too often in vain because of the fact that the perceiver gets sucked into the paradigm set by the initiator. And so long as neither step out of the box, the larger picture--the truth of the matter--is missed altogether. In such cases, there is no actual dialog--just waste.

As this entire post is proof, reading and reacting to garbage yields only another form of waste. It is important, when a real person (not some anonymous online blogger) states misinformation regarding Islam, Muslims, or any group, individual or idea, the reaction should include directing one's efforts and sincerity towards understanding the speaker's perspective. Yes, that's right--active listening. The vocabulary, vulgarity, preposterousness, accent, tone, or loudness of what is said should not be factored into the reaction. Taking a moment to hear a person out, learn where his/her frustration is originating, the personal experiences beneath the words and presentation, could generate real dialog. What could follow has the potential to facilitate growth for everyone involved. Human beings understanding human beings--imagine that.

But it is so much faster to react to preposterousness, to biases and stereotyping, than to a fellow human being. Why bother connecting to someone when all you want to do is right their wrong...right? Why take time to understand and share experiences when problems could just all have pills to fix them.

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