Why you shouldn’t judge
I was slightly hearing-impaired the first 20 years and 46 weeks of my life. It was just enough to cause my brain and body to be wired in a certain way. Environmental variables such as living close to the Des Moines River in Des Moines, Iowa where, believe it or not, I learned to climb on the clay cliffs of a creek running into the river, played a role. Moving to Colorado opened up a whole new world of exploration. Factoring in negligence had its own unique effect on my self-esteem (low).
My life was binary. I felt shitty at home, excellently engaged in daring adventures outside. So I tried to be outside as much as I could rain or shine, but especially loved winter because nobody else was around. I never wore my hearing aid which heightened my senses, activated my spatial awareness, eye-hand coordination and turned all of my excursions into beautifully silent experiences.
Talking with others was and remains my favorite thing to do! During all of those adventures I had imaginary convos with people I never met, historical figures — yes, please ask me that ‘name 3 people you’d invite to dinner and why’ question — and parse through old conversations to figure out where people might be coming from. Empathy, in a word.
I’ve been legally deaf for the last 40 years, 8 months and 28 days. In the darkest moments of having to learn how to walk, talk, and read again I forced myself outside after I matriculated from crawling. For the first 5 years I didn’t know if I was going to live or die, so I did my very best to kill myself via outdoor sports. If you’re an old triathlete, road-racer, or rock climber, you might have run into me and wondered “what the heck?” Same here.
Even today, legally deaf, I still love talking with people. Most people are pretty easy to talk with since I do the accommodating for them.
But wow, y’all gotta learn how to abstain from the bullshit three-ring circus sideshow of freaks. Y’know that just because it’s on your screen doesn’t mean a single fucking thing. Y’know it’s artificial intelligence, that technology creates avatars, right? That everything you see if fake, designed to transfer wealth from you to Misery, Incorporated — y’all gotta stop believin’ that shit.
Leviticus 19:14 You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall respect your better self so you do not reap what you have sown: curses and stumbling blocks.
Reading the Bible as literal is dumb. Believing it blindly is dumber. Never discussing it metaphorically, well, just crawl back under the rock you came from. Parroting what you learned from Seminary — you’re stuck in a tomb and no one is gonna roll away the stone. But using your innate intelligence to find out why the metaphorical bush is burning? we can be friends.
The problem I have with Christianity and the Bible is that it’s hopelessly outdated. People have been preaching the same old, same old lies as gospel truths for milleniums. Why do people still believe that because a woman believed a talking snake’s lie that the rest of us are condemned to do the same? And they do? They believe it! Y’heard it on a Sunday morning time and again so it must be true!
Every place that I’ve worked — and I mean every — someone comes close to me to whisper, “You don’t know how lucky you are to not have to hear the shit people say”. I reply, “You don’t have to believe it. You don’t have to swallow it, you can deflect it, you can put up a shield around your heart so you can realize that that shit is all about them — they need love and don’t even know it”.
All that time I was in church, people prayed for my hearing to be restored. It never occurred to any of them that the Bible already states its policy about how to treat others. In fact, Jesus is quoting Leviticus 19:9–18 when he says the greatest command is to love your neighbors as yourself. Those verses spell out how to do that. Read it. Don’t send your thoughts and prayers on Twitter while ignoring the person across the street.
Talk to them. Do you have something they need? Do they have food? Everyone is a paycheck away from the streets and you’re gonna go all in on Meta?