Are you ever just too tired to be tolerant?

By Leca
@lecanis (16664)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
April 20, 2007 6:21am CST
Okay, if you know me, you know I try really hard to be religiously tolerant. Even when people come up to me and try to convert me, I usually try to understand that they believe what they are doing is in my best interest, and therefore I try to be polite to them even though I'm not going to convert. However, yesterday I was at the hospital, and I had just had a test that required some really weird breathing, which caused me to have two coughing fits during the test. I felt like crap, I was exhausted, and the technician administering the test had been looking sadly at me the whole time, which doesn't make me feel too optomistic about the outcome. Just as I was going from one part of the hospital to another where I had something else to do, I ran into a guy in his late 20's who was walking through the hospital handing out religious tracts. He handed me one, I took it (which is usually easier than arguing) and I kept walking. Well, this guy fell into step with me and just kept jabbering on about how my soul was in peril blah blah blah. Like I said, usually I'm nice to these people because I know ultimately they mean well. However, yesterday, I was just too tired and in pain to deal with it. I said "Look, I have a religion already, I don't need yours, and you will get out of my face right this second." I thought that would work, but he kept right on going as if I hadn't said anything. So I followed with "If you don't leave me alone in the next two minutes you're going to be glad we're in a hospital!" That one worked. Now I feel bad though. I try so hard to be nice to everyone, but sometimes it's just impossible. I mean, I was there to take a test that could have a huge impact on my life. The test itself made me sick with coughing, and I was exhausted. Are you ever just too tired to be tolerant?
14 people like this
31 responses
• Singapore
20 Apr 07
How interesting. I don't even think anyone is allowed to preach in the hospitals. If you yell, the nurse will probably come and ask him to shut up. You can start by being tolerant. But if that person goes on and on after and regardless of your numerous polite hints, then ROAR. Just snap at them in a sarcastic manner to ask them to bug off. :P
3 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
No, he wasn't allowed. I did mention it to the receptionist on the way out. I was there outpatient having tests, so that was the easiest way for me to do it. Haha, I would have probably roared a little louder had the test not beat me up so bad. As it was though, he still seemed a little scared. =p
2 people like this
@naka75 (797)
• Singapore
20 Apr 07
I'll tell people who try to impose their religion onto me that my religion and faith is as good as my mother, so you cannot ask me to call somebody else mother. Because if the person does that he/she has no regard for my mother and obviously his/her religion must be evil.
2 people like this
• Canada
20 Apr 07
That's a good one- sometimes I really just feel like saying "actually, I already have my own religion, and it says people who go door to door harassing others go to hell. So convert now and you may be able to save YOUR souls!"
2 people like this
@vijigopi (991)
• United States
20 Apr 07
That is brilliant as well as most funny... hahhaha...
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
That's a very good one. I've used the analogy of trying to get someone to give up their own family to be adopted by someone else's before as well. I've never understood why people will say they have a personal relationship with their God, and yet not understand that I also have one with my Gods. It seems like a simple enough concept to me.
2 people like this
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
20 Apr 07
I feel for you with the test. I hope everything comes out all right. You'll be in my thoughts. As for the rest of the discussion, yes I've been there. Like you I try to be polite and tolerant. Most will usually give the pamphlet or what have you then leave. Now and then though you get the ones like that guy who gets in your face and personal space. Those I will usually try the "thanks not interested" type thing but if they don't leave I lose my tolerance too. There are times when you can only do so much. You can respect their beliefs and their need to save others but they should also do the same and once told a person doesn't want to hear it they should back off and leave it alone. What that guy did was beyond rude. I probably would have said the same or just walked right over to security and tell them he was stalking me. That would get him of me I would think. I think he was also beyond rude for doing that in the hospital. Talk about having a captive audience if he chooses. Go into a room and start pushing his religion on someone who is stuck in bed. I hope he doesn't do that but I could picture some doing it. To answer your question, yes sometimes I am too tired to be tolerant. I try to be but when push comes to shove I don't have a problem with telling them to back off. Tolerance only goes so far and sometimes we need to let them know they have crossed the line.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
Thanks so much! It might be a bit before I hear because my doc has to go over it with a specialist first, but I'm very anxious to get my results. If they're not so bad, I might just start a new medicine or something, but if they're bad, I'll have to go to a specialist and probably have to have even more tests and junk. Eww. There isn't a lot of security here, in a small place like this, but I did tell a receptionist on my way out, who said she'd contact the right people to take care of it. "Tolerance only goes so far and sometimes we need to let them know they have crossed the line." I often try to be nice so hard that I don't think of things like this, but you made a very good point here.
3 people like this
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
21 Apr 07
Hopefully at worst you'll only have to start the new medicine. I know how miserable it is to have to go to a new doctor. You always have to re-explain everything to them and hope that they listen. Let alone the more tests, never fun at all. Well I know for myself I believe that everyone has a right to their faith, belief or ideals. I just don't want you to force them on me. If I'm interested I'll ask but otherwise lets just let others alone to follow whatever path they prefer. When they get in my face though and they won't take the hint to back off then I either walk away completly or tell them to.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
21 Apr 07
It is soooo frustrating having to explain things over and over, yes! Every single time they order my records and go "Are you sure this was really caused by what is says it was?" and they want to do all the old tests over again. And then I point out that in the 26 years I've been alive I've had most tests that could possibly have to do with lungs have been done on me at least 20 times, and even quite a few having to do with other parts of the body. My current regular doctor is really good about stuff like this, but just doesn't have the experience in this area to feel comfortable dealing with my situation on her own. Yeah, I need to start responding sooner, instead of letting people talk so much. I think being so nice just makes them think they actually do have a chance of converting me, which is not the case.
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
21 Apr 07
I dont blame you at all feeling the way you did .In pian and all Hope it all works out ok for you and nothing bad is going on with you. But to have this happen in a hospital is way out of line! I have these poeple come to my house and try to preach to me but these to fellers had just left our house and sabatodged the girl that was staying with us as she was getting out of her car! I was so mad I almost went out and told them off. But she handled it real good alto I told her I was sad this had happened . To me that is really pushing it down someones throat either a home Street in front of home or in the hospital/ Are they so hard up for followers that they just think they get to anyone?
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
26 Apr 07
I guess they must be that hard up for followers! I think the situation you described is horrible. How frustrating that people would feel the need to behave that way!
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
2 May 07
I bet they were hard yup lol
@rekkusu (603)
20 Apr 07
Not so much too tired, as just to lazy Sometimes its harder to be tolerant than to just ignore people like that But still "If you dont leave me alone in the next two minutes youre going we're in the hospital", thats so funny *scribbles in note book titled "Comments, comebacks and such"* Any hope you get good results from the test :)
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
Hehe! It was kinda a nice one, eh? =p
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
Oh, and thank you! I'm not sure when I'll have my results, because my regular doc is going to go over them with a specialist. But thanks so much for the good wishes!
2 people like this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
20 Apr 07
You have absolutely nothing to feel bad about, and more importantly, I hope all is well with you. Often it is much easier to play into these beliefs than to be nice and tolerent of them. The person you mentioned, was on a mission. Literally, there are so many missionaries out there who are devoting themselves to "spreading the word," and "saving the souls," of everyone they possibly can. Often, I will just tell these these types to "find someone's soul who is need of saving, because mine isn't," as I take a 'preaching to the converted,' attitued with them, regardless of my personal beiefs on the matter. The bottom line is that often under these circumstances, it is impossible to have an honest discussion with them about religion and beliefs, because they and admittedly-- I have my own well entrenched views on the issues. The issue rather is about time and place. Granted this person was probably following in Jesus's footsteps by trying to preach to the sick and dying and help people in low spots, while (in my often cynical view) they are vulnerable and looking for hope where ever they can find it, which honestly I find deplorable. I will take the person who accosted you on face value and assume he was well-intentioned and sane, however I do have to wonder if something far more sinister was going on. At any rate, I think pestering you at that time and place, under those conditions was wrong, plain and simple.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
Thanks! I'm hoping everything will be okay, but I've had some unexplained symptoms, and my doctor things they might be related to my chronic lung problem. Hopefully it'll all get sorted out soon, but I am a little worried, and in more pain than usual. "The bottom line is that often under these circumstances, it is impossible to have an honest discussion with them about religion and beliefs, because they and admittedly-- I have my own well entrenched views on the issues." This is a really good point. There's no way to have an open discussion when they obviously just came up to try to convert you. I think it was wrong too, honestly, and I do hope he isn't allowed to continue to do such things, since I alerted the staff to the problem.
3 people like this
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
20 Apr 07
I'm never tolerant of these people who are bent on trying to convert everyone to their way of thinking. I realize that we are a country based on freedom of speech, but I think some people take it too far. I always answer them the same way "I have a relgion I'm very happy with and if you want to find out about it, I'll be happy to tell you". That usually shuts them up and they run in the other direction.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
*nods* That is a good idea. How many of them are really going to listen to your beliefs? I'll have to try that one!
2 people like this
@draconess (651)
• Canada
20 Apr 07
I'm usually a very tolerant person, but when it comes to those pushy religious types I have lost all patience. Once, in university, we were having a party at our house on a friday night, and a couple ladies came knocking on the door (it was after 8pm on a friday!). So I went to open the door, tried to politely tell them we weren't interested at all, but they just kept talking. Seeing my frustration, one of my guy friends came up to the door and offered the ladies some jello shooters and a game of strip twister. He was joking, but the look on their faces was priceless, and they left us alone after that!
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
Haha that sounds like great fun!!
2 people like this
@Denmarkguy (1845)
• United States
20 Apr 07
Sometimes these "missionairies" sure can be pesky and annoying-- in recent weeks, I've had a couple of "kids in suits" come back THREE times, in attempts to rescue my soul. Makes me wish there were a "do not call at my DOOR" list... I can think of many occasions where I have felt very tired of being tolerant, especially when people are clearly not being tolerant of MY space, and whatever right to peaceful enjoyment of my life I might have. My standard response tends to be "Look, I already have a belief system that works for my life, and rather than wasting your time and insulting your intelligence by listening to your pitch and then eventually telling you that I'm not interested, I'd like to just invite you to put your efforts into pitching to someone who might be more receptive to your message." With very few exceptions, people seem to latch onto the word "intelligence" and mostly move on gracefully... as if they somehow "get" that they would be proving their stupidity by staying. So, on the whole, I have not had to resort to threats or anger. I can certainly appreciate your situation, though... sounds like you were practically assaulted.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
You know, that list is a wonderful idea. It would solve so many problems! Wow, that sounds like a brilliant response to this situation! Very nicely put. Maybe I'll borrow it for next time, if you don't mind?
2 people like this
@mi2ok02 (406)
• United States
20 Apr 07
Having a religion isn't going to save you. It can actually send you to hell. Having a RELATIONSHIP with God is what matters! You didn't state what "religion" but that doesn't matter. It is faith that matters. Faith in God and religion is just not the same.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
*laughs* I get a lot of flak for my use of the word "religion". But when I say "I have a religion" I'm saying it that way because it's easy. It would be a little more complicated to say "I have a very close personal relationship with my Gods, and I'm not going to give my Gods up for your God" Perhaps I'll start saying it that way instead anyway.
2 people like this
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
20 Apr 07
I have at times been to tired to be tolerent of anything. But it has been years since someone tried to convert me to some religion. How come you are always running into these people? lol. I can understand your feelings on being hounded by conversion minded people. I guess I would be nice to the person and politely tell them I am not interested. What I want is a relationship with God, not a religion. To me, they are two different animals. By the way, I am starting up this new form of religion and I was wondering if....lol.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
I must have a sign on my head that says "Come preach at me" or something! It just seems like these types of people follow me around. I do live in a smallish town, and my personal beliefs are pretty common knowledge, so that could be part of it. I do even wear religious jewellry sometimes, but I wasn't wearing any yesterday. You know, I hear that distinction a lot, between a relationship with God and religion. I've just become so used to using the word "religion" that it's hard to knock the habit... but truly there isn't a difference for me, because "my religion" isn't really an organized one. So my religion is defined by my relationship with my Gods, if that makes sense. lol... you're so funny! Thanks for the giggle there at the end!
2 people like this
@buldwgz (1483)
• United States
20 Apr 07
Dont feel bad at all. The person who followed you around the hospital took the opportunity to attack, yes, attack, you while you were in the hospital. Think about it. You were at a low point and that's when he attacked you. Sometimes we have to be somewhat forceful or these nuts will never stop. You weren't mean, you were just honest. Which is something they rarely are. Tolerance is way overrated. I mean, we should accept people and love all people, not just tolerate them. Anyway, I don't think you even came close to being mean.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
"Sometimes we have to be somewhat forceful or these nuts will never stop." You know, that is a wonderful point! I guess I hadn't thought of it that way, but being nice to people like this does kind of encourage their behavior, which I definitely don't want to do. Thanks for the new perspective!
2 people like this
@easy888 (10405)
• Australia
20 Apr 07
Hello,lecanis,I hope you will be fine, take care of yourself. I think every one will have their limits in tolerating something, when the limit had been exceeded, you want to vent your anger but may be in some situaions, you just cannot get angry and you have to hide your anger inside your heart and not to let other people know, I think it is the hard thing we have to encounter. For example, I am working in retail sector so I may have to deal with some trobule customers which do not talk to you nicely or even offend you, but you cannot say anything. I may really feel tired to be tolerant at that time.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Apr 07
Thanks for the kind words! I'm not sure yet how things will go with my health, but I'm taking good care of myself. =) I have the same situation at work, having to deal with customers who are sometimes rude and mean. It does get really hard sometimes.
2 people like this
@collstarx (1177)
• Indonesia
20 Apr 07
Yes I ever just too tired to be tolerant, Sometimes I think why I must tolerant but other push that argumen to me. Best regards
@DeaXyza (577)
• United States
26 Apr 07
Catching people who are sick and in the hospital to convert them is a new low for any religion. Lecanis my dear how did you even let him talk to you I would have told him to shoo off and added that "if your religion was so strong then please go and convert people who are not vulnerable as for me I have strong faith in mine and nothing anyone says and does shall make me change my mind, if I have the time I will listen to you but I have neither the time nor this is the place to convert my faith, hope you find some other sucker to listen to you". Well I know that would be rude but if anyone approaches me in a hospital when I am sick and already feeling low he/she should be getting my nasty temper and that too well deservedly I think. You did the right thing and I wonder how you still had your wits around you, that really was a commendable thing you did. I think in your case you were too sick to be tolerant, even if you were healthy I think hospital is not the place to sing out praises about any particular religion let alone trying to convert people. You take dear and get well soon. :)
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
26 Apr 07
I must not have had the breath for that mouthful! =p *nods* You're completely right though, I worry too much about being "nice". The guy was out of line! Thanks for the kind words!
1 person likes this
@DeaXyza (577)
• United States
26 Apr 07
you are right dear and take good care of yourself.
1 person likes this
@Woodpigeon (3710)
• Ireland
26 Apr 07
I am ften too tired to be tolerant. I think it is so rude, so really, incredibly rude, to harass people over religion. I have dealt with a Jehovah coming dor to door and he is really aggressive. To make matters worse, my husband gave him the impression he was interested, so the man really made a nuisance of himself before we had a bit of an altercation like you describe. I didn't threaten him, but I was very firm. There is also a mother of one of my son's friend swho belong to what appears to me to be a cult. It falls within the Christian realm, but it is a sect and they are very, um, separitist in an 'I'm going to suck you in' sort of way. Everything in their lives, from childrens books to clothes to who knows what is about god, god's message, god's plan...which is fine. The problem arose when she was canvassing for new members and really pushing to get people to join her bible study group. SHe must have sked 3 or 4 times and really made a thing out of it despite it being very clear I was totally uninterested. That was the thing I found really annoying, she just wouldn't take no for an answer. It was like she had some Cult Quota she needed to meet. I still see that Jehovah around, too, and never fail to marvel at how hard he bangs people's dor knockers, and how many bangs he gives them. It is just so intrusive and they know it and they do it anyway. I wouldn't want to be a part of anything that was sending people out like Vacuum salesmen.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
26 Apr 07
"I wouldn't want to be a part of anything that was sending people out like Vacuum salesmen." My thoughts exactly! I can't imagine being part of one of those groups, and being expected to do those things, or even not point out to the people that do that they are being rude! I'm sorry to hear that you've had so many such disturbances at your own home! I'm pretty lucky in that no one really comes to my place where I live now, I'm on the second floor of a building that pretty much looks like a house, so unless you know, you're not likely to really get to my door. For me it's always out places that I run into this type of stuff.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Apr 07
Yes there are times when I am just too mentally and physically tierd to try to be nice to anyone. I have had days where it takes nothing to make me start snapping at someone. It won't matter if it was someone like in your case with religios tracts and tryin to convert me or just one of the clients at work, when I get too tired i am not tolerant at all. I wouldn't feel too bad about this incident. If he would have taken the hint the first time or just given you the tract and moved on it probably would not have happened anyway.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
26 Apr 07
Thanks for posting! I agree that it's hard to deal with people in any fashion when you're tired... I have that problem with customers once in a while, and occasionally even my friends. =p You have a point, that if he had taken the hint I wouldn't have had to be rude to him, so it's really not my fault.
1 person likes this
• India
22 Apr 07
It's really sad that you had to go through what you had to, at a time when you were exhausted and ill at ease. I too get put off by these religious zealots and fanatics. I mean, you have chosen to give them the benefit of doubt by saying that their intentions are ultimately good, but what gives them the right to conclude that their religion or doctrine is better than my own or that I'm in peril? Each one to his own I believe. I don't think anybody has the right to stuff his/her ideas and visions down anybody else's throat. Don't feel bad about your reaction for one single minute. It was his fault and not yours.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
26 Apr 07
Thanks for responding! Thanks to all the helpful people here at mylot, including you, I'm starting to realize that there is a difference between being intolerant and not putting up with this kind of behavior. Thanks so much! It is pretty sad that this guy felt the need to bug sick people like that! I hope the hospital did something about it after I told them. I'll have to keep an eye out for him next time I'm there.
1 person likes this
• Romania
21 Apr 07
Hello, there! :) I just saw a picture of you and your guys... Nice photo. :) I understand what you say here, thing like that happen to me too, when all you want to do is get something done, and them rest, or sleep, or whatever, and you're exhausted, and someone stand in your way... Woohoo! You're like: make way! comming through! :) Although it seems to me that I am most ofter rude when I'm to tired with the people I love, like my brother... :) If I'm very tired and a stranger asks me something that I can't to, I try to tell him nicely that I can't... But if the same thing happens, and my brother asks me something I can't to... I just tell him: "oh, just leave me alone for now... ok?" did anything like that happen to you? :) Oh, and I want to sak you... what religion do you have?
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
26 Apr 07
Awww thanks! I am a pretty luckly lady to have such a wonderful little family. =p It is sometimes easier to be rude to people we care about, which is kind of sad in a way. But you just feel like you can be more honest about the mood you're in, I guess. Oh, I'm Pagan. If you don't know what that means, there are several threads about "what is a pagan" here, or you could just ask me. =p
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Apr 07
Yep. That happens to me a lot. I go to bed late and get up early. I work a lot and sometimes I just can't tolerate anything. Especially if the cats keep me up at night. I'm rarely confronted with religious tolerance. That would have been very irritating to have someone chase you around the hospital after you had just had some big tests. I know he didn't know what you were even doing there but they shouldn't chase you around the hospital anyways. You'd think the person would have gotten the hint the first time around. You can't be nice to everyone all the time.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
26 Apr 07
"You can't be nice to everyone all the time." This is a really good point! I do sometimes try too hard to be nice to everyone all the time. Thanks!
1 person likes this