You're standing behind me in the line at the grocery store and a flicker of annoyance arises in you. The hand that I'm holding, the melanin in my skin and the brazenness of my actions, fool your eyes, making you believe I am different from you. Intrinsically we all know that isn't true, but the truth is far weaker than the seed of hatefulness that prevails in you. While my eyes are plastered to the buttons of the credit card machine, I casually move my mouth to the side of my face and steal a kiss from the pretty blonde woman at my side. The flicker arises once again fueled by distaste and you begin to shift tensely, audibly exhaling the discomfort of having to stand here tolerating the multi-racial gay couple. I turn my gaze to you and smile politely, your eyes sternly snap away from mine as the angle of your nose begins to tilt ever so slightly towards the sky. It is in that defining movement that a small piece of my heart breaks for you.
You see, your bigotry isn't hurting me. My life is full of love, not to mention a very attractive girlfriend, a great condo and a cute convertible. The roof on said convertible may leak in a downpour but I live in California so I'm not overly worried about it. You, however, go about your day constantly under attack and overwhelmed by bursts of anger at the site of anything and everything not aligned with you. You are constantly stockpiling notions of superiority and your general unpleasantness has become your Crest. Can't you see how your bigotry is hurting you?
You and your best friend anger, settle in for the evening with a stiff bourbon and the nightly news. Our most recent pimp of bigotry rapes the screen, screaming and spewing the newly reformed homily of hate. Before you know it, you, anger, hate and his grandfather bigotry are standing on great grandma Betty's rug, spewing and screaming alongside him. A beet hue strangles your face as you spray saliva and venom across your widescreen television.
Meanwhile, I sit on my couch watching tonight's political circus and I see you there. I see you in the face of every mindless chimpanzee impotently mimicking their ivy league leader's "best words." I breathe a short sigh of sadness for you all, but my attention is quickly drawn to my girlfriends iPhone. She loves cute cat videos, this one is featuring a German Shepherd licking a Kitten. Your grotesque hatred is soon forgotten, in part because I'm a sucker for some inter-species pet canoodling but also it's because your bigotry doesn't affect me. I'm happy. I mean, hot girlfriend and kittens! What else is there?
Multiple studies maintain that happiness not only protects your hearts health but can strengthen your immune system, in turn, aiding and combatting diseases. So my happiness aside, I am leagues ahead in the health department. An article published by Harvard in 2011 speaks to vast scientific studies detailing how negative emotions harm the body. Sustained stress and fears may alter biological systems ultimately contributing to illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Chronic anger can seriously disrupt cardiac function. Broken down, hate and anger are pretty strong conduits for a heart attack! So your bigotry though clearly directed at me, is in fact, hurting you.
Just something else to think about the next time you're in line at the grocery store.