Tolerating others.

No matter how hard I fought it, I woke up around half past four this morning. I’m used to getting up earlier than that on a work day, but I keep hoping that I’ll sleep in on the weekends. That way I’ll enable myself to stay up later. Regardless, I was awake. I knew high tide wouldn’t be for another hour or so, so I grabbed my kayak and went down to Chauncey Creek. Once I got to the small boat launch (across the street from the entrance to the hiking trails) I found a S.U.V. parked by the side of the road and a fishing rod resting against a guardrail. The line was cast out into the water right by where my kayak was about to go. As I was getting ready to launch, the fisherman got out of his vehicle so he could move the line. I tried to be polite and say it was fine, as I didn’t want to bother him.

Yet in the back of my mind I didn’t forget that as an ethical vegetarian I found what he was doing morally abhorrent. My feelings on the issue are strong enough that I didn’t want to interact with him in the first place. I had to, however, so I maintained civility as I went about my business. He was a nice guy aside from what he was doing, which did make the conversation easier. However I wanted to get away from that fishing equipment as soon as possible.

The same problem goes for having dinner with somebody who’s eating meat. I try to ignore what they’re having. As long as they don’t make fun of my food, I won’t say anything about theirs. When you go against the norm as much as I do the key to moving through society is tolerance. I always say that I can get along with a murderer on a social level as long as he or she doesn’t come after me. The truth is I find people annoying and sometimes dreadful generally, but can get along with them personally. Some other examples: I’m a pacifist but can get along with a soldier at a bar. I can get along with a preacher when I’m… we’ll, we’ve covered that.

This is also another reason I’m glad I quit the job at the convenience store. With the constant irritation there would have come a point when I would snap and take my aggression out on somebody. Who knows, maybe that will still happen someday. I can only remain tolerant for so long. Right now I’ll relegate my frustrations with people to my imagination. A fishing rod could be quite useful in multiple ways as a weapon….

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