The young stay-at-home mother looked out through the front window – and was devastated. There, in the middle of the street was the dead body of the family’s adorable, much-loved (and very expensive) Scottish Terrier.  Somehow he had got out, and some unfeeling fiend had hit and run over him, and hadn’t even had the good manners to stop and report the accident.

Bad enough how bereft she felt, but her young daughter would be inconsolable. Thinking of her loss, and how she would have to explain the trauma to her child, she burst into tears.

“What’s wrong Mommy?  Whyya cryin’?”  Standing there at the window sobbing, she was suddenly aware of her daughter, who had come up from the basement playroom – followed by their Scotty.  She looked back into the street – just in time to see a crumpled black garbage bag blow on down the road.

QUESTION – Is she entitled to her feelings??

Some years ago, the wife was rebuking me for a statement I hadn’t made, about an opinion I didn’t hold. She was telling me how insulted and unsupported she felt.  Since I hadn’t said what she’d accused me of, I told her that she shouldn’t feel that way.

I suddenly found that husbands, like small children, should be seen and not heard. Now I had sinned twice.  Not only did she think I’d ‘said something’, but now I was robbing her of something that was hers, something that she’d worked for, and owned, and deserved.  “How dare you tell me not to feel like that!  Don’t I have the right to my feelings?”

QUESTION – (based on my presumed innocence) Does she have a right to her feelings?

I was discussing this and related situations with a co-worker one day. He was of Turkish descent, from Cyprus.  I brought up the fact that, if a businessman meets with an Arabic official, and sits down and crosses his left leg over his right, so that his left foot points at the Arab, it is considered an insult.

I asked, “If the American doesn’t even know of the cultural beliefs, and intends no insult, then how can it be taken as an insult?”

“Oh no”, he says, “that is an insult!”  No knowledge – no intent –HOW??!!

QUESTION – Does the Turkey (and the Emir) have the right to his feelings?

A young, New-Age Mennonite co-worker went on and on about how gay people chose to be gay, and sin.  Finally tired of this attitude, one day I asked him just how he thought that homosexuals chose to be so.

He launched into a story about, “You know when you’re 12 or 13, and you first start noticing boys and girls, and you decide who you’re most attracted to? They decide to be gay”  12 or 13??!  He must have led a sheltered life out there on the farm.  I knew I was hetero by 4, when the little girl up the street taught me to play Doctor and Nurse.  Perhaps he just stopped noticing sheep.

I objected to his use of the word ‘decide’, and suggested he replace it with ‘realize.’  “It sounds to me as if they go through exactly the same development and situation as you did, only, instead of finding that they like the opposite sex, they find that they like the same sex.”

“Oh no,” he says! “I’m normal!  They choose to sin and be gay.”

QUESTION – Does this narrow-minded little twerp and his pastor have the right to their feelings about fags?

Do the Westboro Baptists have the right to their feelings when they interrupt funerals?? Do ISIS and al Qaeda have the right to their feelings about women, gays, Christians, and Democracy?  Big or small, it’s all the same.

I would never deprive anyone of the right to express valid emotions, but they have to be BASED ON REALITY. Are any of you incensed at that statement?  Tough luck – get over it.  You shouldn’t feel that way.   😉

12 thoughts on “FEELINGS

  1. Ian Franks says:

    Offence exists if someone is offended, whether intended or not. Lack of intention is no excuse – just like ignorance of the law is no excuse.


  2. smitchjack says:

    Very interesting. I shall think about this some more.


  3. BrainRants says:

    Great summary of an issue, Archon. Couldn’t have done better myself, and you don’t use swear words to boot. I’ve found that everyone is entitled to their feelings. However, once the feeling-haver learns of the intent – or lack of it – or of the inherent truths behind the situation, then they have a choice to either be an ass or expand their horizons.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. smitchjack says:

    Okay, you’ll be pleased to know I have done some thinking and this is what I have come up with:
    We are all entitled to our feelings BUT there is a responsibility attached to the way these feelings are expressed. Maybe it’s because I’m half-British, but it’s possible to have feelings all the time and not impose them on others. I’m not saying all feelings should be buried but it’s not actually necessary to let everyone know every feeling that is occurring as it is occurring (caveat: unless said person is a) a toddler b) centre of the universe).


  5. 1jaded1 says:

    Favorite line is feelings have to be based in reality. Second favorite line is maybe he just stopped noticing sheep.

    If someone doesn’t know the culture and performs an offensive act, I would hope the receiving end would be tolerant. It would be like someone not knowing that giving the middle finger is an insult. It is different after or if one is educated and performs the same act.


    • Archon's Den says:

      At first, he seemed like a nice-enough young man, but quickly proved that he was a cheap, narrow-minded little asshole. He made my Scottish ancestors look like charitable spendthrifts.
      He ‘bought’ a wife in El Salvador, and brought her back to Canada. He knew what little Spanish he’d learned as a missionary, and she knew a few words of English. He quickly got her a job in a factory. A female co-worker asked, “Do you love each other?” “We will learn to love each other.”
      When he told me that she had developed an interest in foreign coins, he couldn’t believe that I would just give her my excess duplicates. He must have asked 10 times if I was sure I didn’t want to be paid for them.


  6. Jim Wheeler says:

    Good essay and good comments. I can only add that in situations like this, the concept of “freedom” is often misunderstood and misused. “Freedom of speech” is often used to justify saying whatever comes to mind, but as you point out, that often degrades relationships. Your freedom to pack heat conflicts with my freedom from worrying about holes in my house and body.


    • shimoniac says:

      The right to free speech doesn’t include the right to be taken seriously. A cousin of mine told me once that before you opened your mouth and showed how stupid you were, you should pass your words by a committee. The first one would determine if it was true. The second determined, was it fair? The third determined if it was kind. The fourth determined, did it matter?
      That last one alone cut down on my talking by about 75%. 😛

      Liked by 2 people

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