Shalome Hill: Jerk

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On the subway:

So I am sitting there with my gigantic backpack on my way home from a hard day of learning when two elderly women get in the train. Like usual, I give up my seat and the older of the two take it and thank me. No problem. The young lady sitting next to me was not so generous with her seat. Of course with the peering eyes of the second older lady, myself, and a gentleman next to me she eventually gave up her seat but not without a huff and grunt. At the next stop an older lady got on with a walker. And as she held on to her walker and a pole for dear life, being rocked like a rag doll, young folks are happily seated playing with their gadgets and reading the locals news rags. Like the obnoxious American I am, I walk over to her and suggest it would be kind if one of these young people offer there seat to someone with a walker.

I am not a goody girl scout or nothin, I just think this is common courtesy. If someone is in some way disabled (blind, broken leg, etc) or carrying a child (either in arms or in belly) I offer the same courtesy. I think it is just a nice thing to do. When has something so simple become such an inconvenience?

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Today in class:

We are discussing diversity and culture. Today we had to get into groups and mention one thing about any religion. One simple thing, that’s it. I suggested Catholics and confession. I think it is good for people to learn that different religions/cultures/etc have different values/morals/ethics/etc. I do think it is a bit sad that at a college level you need a class to tell you this. I learned this lesson as a kid. I once said I liked k.d. lang’s music but thought she was odd for “kissing” girls. My oldest brother smacked me on the back of my head and told me who she kissed was none of my business. Lesson learned.

Anyways my partner decided instead of talking about Catholics and such she would discuss how Judaism is the mother of all religions and how they all follow the principles of Jesus Christ as our savior. GREAT!!!! At this point I realize our group just failed it’s mission and I must distance myself from this mad man-lady. I simply state that she made a bold statement that not everyone might believe. Fair enough. But then she states that Jesus Christ IS our savior, and asks if I can at least acknowledge that. I told her I would do no such thing because my personal beliefs do not matter, the point being not everyone will believe Jesus is our savior. Again, fair play. Finally she asks me how I can argue with historical facts. HISTORICAL FACTS! (Yes, she repeated that twice emphasizing the words the second time just in case English is my second language and I do not understand the importance of the words historical and facts, both meaning ‘I am right and you can not argue with me’).

Anyway, this discussion lasted much longer than it should have and maybe I was in the wrong for spending 15 minutes arguing with a lady in her 60’s in front of 80 people. Perhaps I should have respected that she likes making bold statements, maybe that’s part of her culture. Maybe there is a lesson we both should learn.

Or maybe one of us is just a jerk.

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