Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Sweet Lady from Iraq

A lady visiting from Iraq had been coming into the library for a while. She was so kind and caring. I helped her with printouts and counting change (our coinage does not even have denominations on it, how strange is that?). She was always thankful and went out of her way to say that we had the nicest people here. She probably meant in America but we do have a nice little town here.

The last time I would see her was when she came in to print out her tickets to fly home. Again, she just told me how wonderful everyone had been to her and was saying goodbye to me. A few minutes later, some gadget in her purse went off with the audio of a Muslim prayer. I was not around her but I went to tell her she needed to turn it off (which was what I do with every cellphone that rings for a while). She apologized sincerely, was as sweet as she could be, and I thought that was that. I skipped happily back to my desk and gave a wink and a nod to my colleague.

However another woman in the room called me over to tell me that this disturbed her. She said "After the beheading some people were sensitive." I do not really understand what she wanted me to do but she was not happy. I said that I really did not associate a prayer with violence, in general. I told her I had not been keeping up with the news about the American beheading. "Well, you should read about it and then comment," she countered. I just left it there.

So, later I read an article about the beheading in America and came away with the idea that it was basically a disgruntled worker. But in all honesty, any reason a person comes up with to justify killing another person intentionally is not particularly good. One reason is no more frightening than another.

And more importantly, the weapon used can dramatically increase the number of people killed by some disgruntled person. One would have to be Conan the Barbarian to behead a bunch of folks at a time. Now an assault rifle with unlimited ammunition in a public place... that is kind of scary and it seems to be happening everywhere... without prayer audio.

So I just won't be commenting to the second lady after reading about the beheading. Someone who has an unreasonable fear needs to deal with that themselves.

As for the sweet lady from Iraq, I would like to thank her for enriching my life with her thoughtful and kind remarks. I hope she takes back a bit of love from America.

“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” - attributed to Buddha

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