|Origin unknown. This came to me in an email.|
This happened to me the other day. My headlights had burned out and while it is not rocket science to replace them, it can be tedious. They are hard to get to with not much space to work in. So I took the job to my local mechanic.
We have dealt before but I guess we never touched on certain subjects. We had always had an agreeable, friendly relationship. This day was different. It was shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing.
Regular followers know I am liberal in my politics and beliefs. I soon found this fellow was so far right that he was in danger of slipping off the scale.
We were agreeing on how awful the bombings were when he went off on his views of the ails of the United States. Mainly, those darn foreigners.
"We let those thieving immigrants into our country with no care for us real Americans. You ever take a trip across country and stay in motels? They are all run by foreigners. They not only take our jobs; they take our businesses; then they feel free to kill us. "
I bit my tongue to keep from saying, "Gee, you don't look Native American."
I also had to choke back, "I personally admire their work ethic and enterprise."
When I actually said nothing and employed my best blank, noncommittal look, he then attacked the President. He evidently didn't like Obama's facial expression when he responded to the event. He grumbled, "The President certainly didn't show any compassion."
He snarled the word "president" with complete disdain and let loose a stream of saliva whenever saying either "Obama" or "President." I smelled more than politics here as the basis for his hatred.
When he mentioned the small boy who was killed, I replied, "We have certainly lost entirely too many children lately."
He knew I was referring to Sandy Hook so he evoked the "taking my gun out of my cold dead hand" mantra of the NRA against any form of gun control. So much for any common ground.
Veins were throbbing in his neck and temples with his passion. I refused however to fuel his fury. I maintained a twitch free expression.
From life long experience I realized nothing I could say would sway him in the slightest and nothing he could say would change my beliefs. To try would only feed frustration and anger for both of us. While a younger me would have tried, I tend to now days live by the Serenity Prayer and only try to change those things that can be changed.
He did manage to alter my opinion but it was of him, not my beliefs. He went from a rather sweet, funny, good ole country boy to someone I had to carefully watch my subject topics with in the future.
I guess we all have multiple sides. I know some of you, bless you hearts, live with someone with polar opposite beliefs. You have my complete admiration. I have friends with radically different views on certain matters, but I don't have to wake up with them in the morning and as long as we ignore the buttons, we can have a cordial relationship.
After another monologue on the absurdities of Obama Care, he finished the job and we went inside to settle up.
With a big grin he charged me just the price of the bulbs, $21.00, saying there was no charge for installation. Can you imagine my bill had I gone toe to toe with him? Silence can be golden.
My blood pressure and pocket book are grateful for my restraint. Undoubtedly, sometime in the future with my 10 year old vehicle, I will again need his services. They will be available and tended to without spite. I will have to remind myself of the things about him that I do like.
Would you have defended your beliefs or held your tongue like I did?