So is it New year yet?
I guess it must be. We have had our usual spate of arrests and murders and other various activities that the local peasants seem to think is necessary for the celebration of the Earth having completed yet another orbit around the sun.
Some of them don't believe in that though, which makes me think of what it must mean to be so obsessed by a belief that others have to be subjected to it, beyond, in some cases, any semblance of validity.
Such things were not foremost on my mind however when at 11.52 pm I crawled into bed, several hours ahead of my usual bedtime and looked at the man of my nightmares, I mean dreams, definitely my dreams, who was watching a DVD movie of no great worth except to act as nightmare fodder for someone else.
"Whatcha doin'?" he asked.
"Helping you watch the movie." I answered.
"Oh." he replied. "I can stop it if you want."
'If I want to what?"
"It is hot!' he said
"So it is," I confirmed for him.
I believe we were thinking the same thing, that is, we had the same beliefs. At least they seemed similar.
Some people do not seem to understand how important it is to allow other people to have beliefs that conflict with their own.
They seem to be obsessed by some primitive neanderthal necessity to want others to think as they do.
Well that might have been necessary when we lived in tribes or in caves. You know when our ancestors clubbed each other to death out of fear of the differences between one tribe and another; or over claims that cavemen from one cave were better than cavemen from another cave. It was a time when they could not explain things like lightning or wind or rain or fire. The Sun revolved around the Earth which was flat. You could be burned at the stake for saying you believed otherwise.
Today on this the first day of a new year, actually it is the second because I was busy yesterday, it occurs to me that we no longer need to worry about what others believe, provided each of us does not try to club anyone else into submitting to their beliefs.
It is not beliefs themselves that cause problems. What creates the problems is when we allow our beliefs to dictate what we do, without recourse to reason, common sense and human compassion.
In short when my actions are the result of my beliefs, I should make sure that I do no harm to others or their right to believe what they will. I would ask only that they grant me the same courtesy.
Now that for me, would be civilised.
By 12.07 am New years day, the boyfriend and I had confirmed the compatibility of our beliefs by having them in a rather uncivilised way, but very full of human com-passion, for a whole year from 2007 to 2008. It was a great year even though it only lasted fifteen minutes.
May you all have a splendid 2008 with many happy 15 minutes or longer.