Human beings are downright awful in the way we treat one another at times. Take the matter of stereotyping as a case in point.
Some is sexual, as in judging women to be ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½too emotionalÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½ or all men as ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½insensitive clods.ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½ Some is tied to age, as in supposing all teens ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½irresponsibleÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½ and all people over 65 ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½too old.ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½ Then there is the sort that is in vogue right now about all corporate executives being ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½greedy.ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½ The best-known and most universal form of stereotyping is racial ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½ Chinese and non-Chinese, Asian and Western, black and white, Jews and Arab, etc.
All right, IÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½m not making this up. The Associated Press carried the story, and its victim is receiving rabies shots in its aftermath. HereÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½s the scoop…
A man was hunting turkeys in upstate New York last month. He was wearing camouflage and giving off his best turkey calls. He was apparently too good at imitating a turkey ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½ so good, in fact, that he fooled two coyotes! A state wildlife expert conjectured they were foraging for food for their pups and moved in for the kill on a man doing his best to sound like a turkey. They must have mistaken him for the real thing. So they did what comes naturally to coyotes.
I donÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½t mean to add insult to the fellowÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½s injuries or to make light of what could have been a fatal attack on him, but the story reminds me of some people and situations IÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½ve experienced. See if any of them sound familiar to you:
>> His mouth is raunchy with sexist jokes, racist put-downs, and really foul language when he gets angry. His latest tirade came today.
>> She habitually wears provocative outfits to the workplace and flirts with every co-worker and customer. But she thought it was outrageous last week when one of them made a blatant pass at her.
>> He drinks like a fish at every company social event and routinely winds up making a fool of himself. Yet he is incensed that his boss has told him he has a problem with alcohol and needs to get help.
All of us want people to think well of us. We want them to see us in our Sunday-morning personals. We want them to know ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½the inner meÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½ that is our most virtuous, decent, and admirable self. But people know us through our actions.
People take you into their confidence only if you have behaved as a person of principle. They ask your advice about really personal issues only when you have displayed genuine character before them. They will seek out your help in their spiritual struggles only if they discern your honest devotion to God.
The best case for us is a joyful, sensitive, and sincere person. The strongest argument against it is a petulant, self-righteous, and hypocritical one. Unbelievers donÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½t demand perfection of us, but they do expect authenticity.
So the moral of this story seems clear: When youÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½re acting like a turkey, donÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½t be surprised by the unpleasant responses you get.
How about you?