Monday, July 31, 2006

Yeah I get it already

I'm pretty convinced that people and things come our way because we have a need. Maybe it's help heading the right way, a helping hand, a lesson...or maybe it's just to test us.

Those last ones can be a real pain in the ass.

In my case, I don't like stupid people. They bug the crap out of me to be honest. I'm not talking about people who just aren't that bright - the ones who try but aren't quite top of their class. I'm talking about the people who are too lazy to learn. These are the morons that the extremes cater to. They'll believe pretty much anything they've heard a couple of times.

Often, these gems of humanity praise themselves for how informed they stay. Informed to them meaning tuned into the local right/left wing hate monger on the radio and being current on their Enquirer subscription.

I'm Buddhist so it's no wonder that many of these people are alleged followers of the late, great J.C. It's not that being Buddhist makes Christians ignorant, but rather I notice more shortcomings in the Christians I meet now that I don't follow that path. Or maybe, it's just that they're the ones who annoy me most right now so that's what I notice.

That's neither here nor there though as my little story really doesn't have much to do with the Christian masses other than the antagonist of this tale likes to profess his great faith.

Anyway, there must be some sort of compassion lesson I've got to learn because this guy - who I work long hours with - really stretches the limits of what I'll put up with.

The other day, he came in with yet another tattoo.

"What do you think?" he asked.

"Why did you get a tattoo of an Iron Cross on your arm dude?"

"I'm just really obsessed with WWII..."

My hardly contained disdain seemed to still his tongue a bit.

Every so often he drops some lame-ass racist comment into conversation though and I have to call him on it.

"Man are those lazy beaners going to be there..."

"They work harder than you do."

"They don't even speak any English, do they?"

"Actually, they speak English just fine. They just don't speak it to you. I wouldn't either if I was them."


"Because you act like a racist retard."

"I'm not racist, I just don't like it when people don't work for a living and try and scam the system."

"Whatever dude."

"No really..."


And that's just a snippet. Mostly, it just makes me want to crack the guy on his shaved dome. Did you really think he would have anything but a shaved head?

One night, he dropped a couple more stupid remarks about how the Germans (the WWII variety that is) had some good ideas.

"Hitler was pretty smart about some stuff, wasn't he?"

"Dude, your hero was an idiot who went nuts and then killed himself and fucked his country and humanity in the process. I'm pretty sure the things he did right are pretty much wiped out by everything else the little shit did wrong."


"Well, what dude? The guy was an idiot."

He shuts up for a while, but then later goes on to moan about how hard the job is that night.

"'Arbeit macht frei', dude."


"Work makes you free."


"Yeah, that's what I thought."

Now, I say it whenever he bitches about work.

Gahhhhh... Seriously, there must be a camera somewhere.

So, today he's wearing a cheesy Iron Cross belt buckle with the SS symbol on it. It's covered by his tee-shirt most of the time, so I don't say anything. But I've noticed. Deep breath, deep breath.

It's topping out at over 100 degrees. I'm hot, sweaty, and in no mood for more stupidity. Guess what? I got it anyway.

"Did you see my new buckle?"

"Yeah," I reply without looking over.

"Well, I won't be wearing it out in the open when we're working."

"Good damn thing."

"What do mean?"

"If I see it again, I'm going to tell you you're a fucktard."

"What's that mean?"

"It means that wearing that makes you a stupid fuck and a retard rolled into one."

" don't like it? Does it annoy you?"

"No dude. It fucking offends me."


"It fucking offends me and wearing it tells me you would rather be a hateful piece of shit than think. So, whatever. No, it doesn't annoy me, but you're starting to."

Remarkably, fisticuffs did not ensue.

This, however, can be nothing more than a test of my compassion. It's easy to have compassion for those we love or like to be around. It's much harder to have compassion for those towards whom we have a strong aversion. But, in order to become a better person, that's just what I have to do.

So, I'm trying to not clench up with hate and anger towards this guy. I mean, he's smart enough to learn so he's not a lost cause - more like a challenge. A major challenge. I'm trying to treat him like a puppy. It's the whole ignoring his bad behaviour and rewarding his good behaviour thing.

It feels like he'll never be housebroke, but hope springs eternal.

I have to say though, this learnin' thing can be a real drag. And it never, ever stops...


Miranda said...

The one thing Hitler was smart about was killing himself. He's lucky none of our guys found him.

How long have you been a buddhist?

Shawn said...

Cowards often take the coward's way out. That can't be more true than it was in the case of Hitler.

As to the buddhism thing, I'm not really sure. It's always been interesting and there are things about it that work for me, but I never really called myself one. So, there it is...more gradual than a singular moment.

I guess like any spiritual path, you never really know if it will get you where you want to go. And sometimes walking the path makes you realize that the destination changes as you learn more about yourself and others.

Laura said...

Wow, I don't envy your position man. I would not be able to put up with a Nazi fucktard like that. (Fucktard is, by the way, one of my favorite words). There's a guy that works at my dad's company who was literally in the Hitler Youth in Germany. He refers to bagels as "Jew Food".

I always maintain that it takes more energy to actively hate people than to just take a little time to learn about them. I simply don't understand people like that. Maybe your test is to learn the subtle art of completely ignoring another human being - it is quite difficult.

thephoenixnyc said...

As a fellow Buddhist I find my strength and toleranc ein its most important tenet.

Acceptance and living life on life's terms not your own.

: )

tshsmom said...

I'm comforted to know that I'm not the only one who works with fucktards. ;)

Shawn said...

L - I'm actually pretty well versed in ignoring people. Just ask my friend Eileen about how it took a month for me to say anything to the new guy at the paper we worked at.

PNYC - I'm getting better at accepting the twists and turns of life. In the end, none of us will be here forever. I hope I can leave some good behind.

TMOM - They sure do make life more colorful, eh? What would the world be like without them?

Miranda said...

I guess I never considered religion as something that got you where you wanted to go. It always seemed to be something that yanked me back from where I shouldn't go. It's interesting to think of it in another light.

Melissa said...

Oh, the interesting comments..Yes, why should religion be a fence when it could be a path?

At least you have the cajones to choose one and stick with it. I am still examining all the relgious choices on the menu, and probably will be for all eternity.

Much respect for trying to be a teacher. I prefer to call these folks Fuck Sticks, but that could also be insulting to sticks. The imagery is just so strong though.