Door to Door Soul Salesmen

**Reposting from July 2008**

RANT alert!

True story.

The phone rings and I check caller ID. Hmmm… I don’t KNOW the person listed, but it IS a local number.

“Hello?”

“Is this Miz Fencepostings?”

“Yes?”

“Hi. This is SomeRandomName and I’m a Jehova’s Witness and recently while in your neighborhood we stopped by your house, but you weren’t home – so we’re calling you instead. May we talk to you about some scriptures important to the salvation of your soul?”

Seriously?!

What makes them think that they hold the answer to my soul’s longevity? If I’d not ever been Soul Solicited by them through the years, I would have answered the door to begin with. I’ve listened before, when caught unaware doing some gardening in my front yard on a weekend. To be polite. Maybe I would learn something, who knew?

I’m not opposed to soul saving. Really. I just don’t want someone coming to my home and trying to convince me of their point of view…especially when they feel as though everyone else requires “saving” and they are just the ones to lead the way.

And how did they get my phone #? Isn’t that just a little presumptuous? I mean, I have to give them kudos for their tenacity, but really? Seriously? Could it be that the fact that there were cars in the driveway and obvious signs and sounds of occupancy present when they knocked (not once, but three times! Yes, I saw them through the window coming down the road), yet nobody answered the door -could it be a sign? Is a literal sign on the door saying “No Solicitations” really going to be necessary?

If I were a different person, or if I gave in to my baser nature, I could EASILY imagine a scenario where I call the number that called me and say something along the lines of

“Hi! My name is FillInTheBlank and I’m with the Southern Branch of the Souls Without Borders(sort of catchy, no?).

I’d like to talk to you about privacy and respect of people’s personal beliefs. How about if me and several of my fellows come by your house, oh, say right around dinnertime? Maybe on a beautiful Saturday while you’re trying to catch up on yard work or spending some time with your family? We’d like to enlighten you as to the error of your ways of believing – SAVE you from your current state of spiritual ignorance.”

Sigh….

I get the idea. I really do acknowledge all the people who so loudly have an opinion about this subject which they’ve seemingly done so little to try to understand. An “open mind” doesn’t come from one source you draw all your knowledge from. An open mind comes with realizing that the universe is full of countless ineffable things that defy our limited understanding, as everyday people.

And an open mind implies a somewhat open heart. Maybe outside of the boxed and neatly tied package? How can so many just walk around, spouting that they know the truth about all of it?

I do sincerely believe that the Bible is full of eternally relevant thoughts, beautiful teachings, and spiritually valuable lessons. So is the Torah. Metaphorically, it allows for a vast range of interpretations, like many other similar religious and faith-based tomes. Yet so many have used it to divide, to ridicule or criticize, to justify a reason for their way of life, without considering the possibility of an alternative being just as right, sometime even to the point of war. My understanding is that is not what that book, or any of the books, were meant for. I’m not arguing the things many people say are aimed to “save” their fellow people. Really. But is it possible that it may be more helpful to listen than to speak over? Or to live by example according to the principles laid out and be a LIVING example of your beliefs?

To be humble is to know that you know nothing. To realize that even though your beliefs say you are somehow superior to the person beside you, you are the same, made of flesh and bone. And you can keep your faith without espousing it to the people you have not begun to try to know. The Truth, however well you think you may know it, is too far beyond you to fall from your lips. It’s too simple and infinite for we mere mortals.

Mantras?

Keep it simple.

Listen rather than convince.

Respect rather than besiege.

Live and let live.

Accept people as they are, knowing you can’t know everything.

Be open to possibilities.

And finally,

Treat them as you wish to be treated.

Peace,

~me

Door to Door Soul Salesmen

Vent alert!

True story.

The phone rings and I check caller ID. Hmmm… I don’t KNOW the person listed, but it IS a local number.

“Hello?”

“Is this Miz Fencepostings?”

“Yes?”

“Hi. This is SomeRandomName and I’m a Jehova’s Witness and recently while in your neighborhood we stopped by your house, but you weren’t home – so we’re calling you instead. May we talk to you about some scriptures important to the salvation of your soul?”

Seriously?!

What makes them think that they hold the answer to my soul’s longevity? If I’d not ever been Soul Solicited by them through the years, I would have answered the door to begin with. I’ve listened before, when caught unaware doing some gardening in my front yard on a weekend. To be polite. Maybe I would learn something, who knew?

I’m not opposed to soul saving. Really. I just don’t want someone coming to my home and trying to convince me of their point of view…especially when they feel as though everyone else requires “saving” and they are just the ones to lead the way.

And how did they get my phone #? Isn’t that just a little presumptuous? I mean, I have to give them kudos for their tenacity, but really? Seriously? Could it be that the fact that there were cars in the driveway and obvious signs and sounds of occupancy present when they knocked (not once, but three times! Yes, I saw them through the window coming down the road), yet nobody answered the door -could it be a sign? Is a literal sign on the door saying “No Solicitations” really going to be necessary?

If I were a different person, or if I gave in to my baser nature, I could EASILY imagine a scenario where I call the number that called me and say something along the lines of

“Hi! My name is FillInTheBlank and I’m with the Southern Branch of the Souls Without Borders (sort of catchy, no?).

I’d like to talk to you about privacy and respect of people’s personal beliefs. How about if me and several of my fellows come by your house, oh, say right around dinnertime? Maybe on a beautiful Saturday while you’re trying to catch up on yard work or spending some time with your family? We’d like to enlighten you as to the error of your ways of believing – SAVE you from your current state of spiritual ignorance.”

Sigh….

I get the idea. I really do acknowledge all the people who so loudly have an opinion about this subject which they’ve seemingly done so little to try to understand. An “open mind” doesn’t come from one book you draw all your knowledge from. An open mind comes with realizing that the universe is full of countless ineffable things that defy our limited understanding, as everyday people. And an open mind implies a somewhat open heart. Maybe outside of the boxed and neatly tied package? How can so many just walk around, spouting that they know the truth about all of it?

I do believe that the Bible is full of eternally relevant thoughts, beautiful teachings, and spiritually valuable lessons. Metaphorically, it allows for a vast range of interpretations, like many other religious books. Yet so many have used it to divide, to ridicule or criticize, to justify a reason for their way of life, without considering the possibility of an alternative being just as right, sometime even to the point of war. My understanding is that is not what that book, or any of the books, were meant for. I’m not arguing the things many people say are aimed to “save” their fellow people. Really. But is it possible that it may be more helpful to listen than to speak over? Or to live by example according to the principles laid out and be a LIVING example of your beliefs?

To be humble is to know that you know nothing. To realize that even though your beliefs say you are somehow superior to the person beside you, you are the same, made of flesh and bone. And you can keep your faith without espousing it to the people you have not begun to try to know. The Truth, however well you think you may know it, is too far beyond you to fall from your lips. It’s too simple and infinite for we mere mortals.

Mantras?

Keep it simple.

Listen rather than convince.

Respect rather than besiege.

Live and let live.

Accept people as they are, knowing you can’t know everything.

Be open to possibilities.

And finally,

Treat them as you wish to be treated.

Peace,

~me