The ugly head of intolerance
There are many types of intolerance. One has shown its ugly head in Roseburg: vocal intolerance of others enjoying coffee, breakfast and conversation.
A group of seniors and I exercise four days a week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We’re good friends and after our workout, we have coffee and an hour of girl talk at a local hamburger establishment. On several occasions, we’ve been criticized by unfriendly patrons for laughing and talking too loud. Seriously?
This past week, a rather rude man sitting with a small group of elderly people had the audacity to yell for us to “shut up.” Is it because they weren’t enjoying their own conversation, or what? Why didn’t he have the decency to come to our table and ask us in a friendly tone of voice? Is this a form of senior bullying? Is it vocal intolerance? Or is it just plain envy of someone else enjoying their food and conversation?
Many times patrons have come to tell us how much they enjoyed seeing our group enjoying each others’ company over a cup of coffee. Several asked if they could join us. We’ve never intruded on anyone, spoken crudely to anyone, nor bothered anyone. Yes, we try to talk over one another occasionally and yes, we do laugh a lot. We consider laughing a form of medicine. Didn’t someone once say “laughter is the best medicine?” Well, we get “medicine “ for about an hour four times a week.
We didn’t appreciate the manner in which the rude individual yelled at us. It reflected poorly on him as an individual and those with him, as well. We’ll continue to enjoy our coffee group and maybe he’ll reconsider his behavior and enjoy some laughter of his own.