We all get to experience peoples ignorance every now and again, we either brush their commets to one side or try and illuminate them. We may even have felt their prejudice towards our person, a deliberate attack upon us either directly or indirectly. Generally such people seek out what they consider to be a weakness that in all good consience they feel a need to point out to you. I was always specky-four-eyes, gingertop, slaphead and so forth but I always followed that old motto of sticks and stones my break my bones but lies and tales could never hurt me. In other words rise above their slander and leave them with their own diseased attitudes.
The funny thing is I have been called a lot of things in my time and never really worried about it because quite frankly in comparison to the ugliness of peoples prejudices I was getting off very lightly. Today, however, a got a glimmer of its potential sinister side.
Within my shop I have a jar in which I collect donations for a charity. The charity helps convalesing children from babies to teenagers. It depends 100% on volunteers - no organisers see a penny of the donations, all funds going to obtain the materials required to create blankets and quilts. The charity is run by volunteers who act as area managers who seek to obtain funds and other volunteers to make the quilts. I have been operating with one such co-ordinator to help them in this. I have a patchwork material and knitting yarn shop. A perfect place.
At the weekend the cordinator organised an exhibition of quilts etc to bring awareness to the public of the charity. Now I am open as to my fetish for rubber. To me it is nothing more than a passion for something in life that acts as a vehicle for self-expression and to bring a little magic into ones life. To me it behaves very much as a hobby does to other people. It is something we would very often very much like to have as a lifes pursuit 24/7 but due to lifes circumstances comes to be a weekday evening and weekend affair. I see no shame in hiding it. I don't rub it in peoples faces but I share my personal life with anyone if the topic of conversation seems appropriate. Of course such openness is open for abuse by the public and so it prooved at the exhibition.
The charity organiser was approached by all I can assume to be a couple of my customers and informed the organiser about the "things" I was into, that I and a member of my staff were doing certain questionable "things" on my website. What site this is I have no idea and I am just glad my member of staff has a decent sense of humour. They wanted the organiser to know that they did not think it was right for her and the charity to be associated with me, especially as it was a childrens charity, and just imagine what would happen if the president of the charity found out!
The organisers day job involves working with children so the fear of god was put into her by these two ignorant bullies. The implication of course is that I am a paedophile. And so the prejudice spreads. Now the organiser trapped in her thoughts that she could lose her job aswell as her reputation with the charity removes my support for the charity therefore demonstrating support for the two ladies claims. She didn't want to do that, she was in tears, but felt it was the safest thing to do. To create distance between herself and the accused. No one wants to be sullied after all. Part of me wants to say to her that it doesn't really matter, its a small and insignificant matter, but in this day and age when we are fed nothing but fear by the media, I can see her problem. And that sickens me.
Well, in truth, there is not much in any of this beyond a couple of stupid old biddies shooting their mouths off with their hypocritical morality as fuel. They will be back in the shop to buy wool and fabric soon no doubt from this monsterous pervert, thinking nothing about the hurt they have caused. Meanwhile the damage is done. Not just to me, to the business, to my staff, to the organiser, to the charity, but also to the children who needed the support I and my shop were assisting in.