There is an old saying: you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. My mother used to tell me that whenever I would get salty and hand her attitude. I grew to understand that I should be nice to people when I wanted something – and then that extended later into a general courtesy. I’m not always perfect with this, but I do try.
There is a woman whom I know by sight. She has been a vocal proponent of some issues in an organization I belong to. And while I agree in principle with what she is saying, I don’t agree with her methods of accomplishing the aims, nor do I agree with her treatment of others.
This woman is a bully. And when she gets called on it, she retreats behind a label.
In some ways she reminds me of a student I had. I’ve talked about him before (Self Examination). He hid behind the gay label as an excuse to be a snotty rude asshole.
This woman was part of a committee who asked me to step aside in a related volunteer effort because apparently what I believe is embarrassing to them. She ejected another friend of mine, with similar beliefs, off of the committee they work on together with a flimsy excuse. I am struggling not to take offense at these blatant attacks on what we believe. Because we are a minority belief, we are being trampled. And it is okay because it is supposed to lead to a larger good?
And the bully, along with her cohorts, can’t see that they are doing to us exactly what they are protesting against in another group.
As a powerful civil rights leader said, “If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.” (Bayard Rustin)
As of now, I want nothing to do with her. I don’t want any part of anything she has a hand in.
This saddens me. I wish I could put my principles above personalities, but I can’t. That is my problem, I know, and it points to a character flaw on my part.
Had this woman applied a little honey, things would have gone much smoother.
Photo by Anderson Mancini