If there is one thing in this world that I believe in, it is that every single person has a right to be exactly who they are. Part of that is also a belief that each of us has a right to our beliefs.

Fanatics and extremists per se don’t really bother me. At various times of our lives, each of us needs to believe in various things, to various degrees. Sometimes to get us through the day, sometimes to get us through an event, sometimes just so that we can keep breathing.

I have some hard core beliefs of my own.

There is a responsibility that comes with fanatical beliefs, though. The responsibility to allow others the same freedom you afford to yourself. Tolerance. Patience. Love. They should always trump judgement.

I met one such soul today. And I couldn’t run fast enough. Their beliefs trump all else. Family, friends, government, God. Even reason and logic. Even love and affection. Granted. Believe what you chose. However, you do not have a right to tell me or anyone else who to be, who to be friends with, who I am, and what I should or shouldn’t do.

You do not have a right to discard people like things, because your absolute logic supposedly trumps every single thing that they are. Every single bit of themselves.

You do not have a right to force your belief onto others, in the egotistical belief that your way is the only way.

Yes, you do have a right to not chose me.

But doors swing both ways.

While you are so busy being completely right and righteous, you forget that I also have a right.

A right to surround myself with people who love me and enjoy me and care for me above and beyond what they might think I should be or become. People who accept me. Even if I am flawed. Even if I am wrong. More importantly, who love me even when they think they know better.

I have a right to run. From your intolerance. Your discard. Your opinion.

Some people are not good for you. And you are not good for them.

Circular logic.

Are either of us right? Are both of us wrong? Does it matter?

I chose not to be around someone who cannot fathom who I am.

You have a right not to be around someone that you believe doesn’t measure up.

Neither of us are less than because of the choice. Maybe we are better off.

I met a fanatic today. It did not matter what the belief was. All that mattered was the intolerance.

A fanatic met me today. It did not matter who I was. All that mattered was that I did not measure up.

Doors swing both ways. Always.

And being right, absolutely right, to the nth degree? Damn that must be lonely.

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