Remember someone bumping into my car exactly a fortnight ago?
Well, this evening I went over to the guy's place to pick the money he owed me. It was all nice and pleasant; I mean, the guy did make some attempts to shake me off, but these were polite and so obvious I don't think even he expected to have much success there. Overall, as far as transactions where someone has to give someone else money without getting anything in return, it was all done in nice terms.
I noticed at the guy's place that the family were speaking Arabic to one another. When all was over and done with and I was about to leave, he asked me that inevitable question: "Where are you from? Are you from Italy?"
I answered I'm from Israel before considering the wisdom of such an answer, only to see the sinking expression on his face. So much so that I wonder whether I would have received the money I was owed if my origins were known in advance.
I will therefore state my position in no uncertain terms.
I am sick to death of being labeled by according to my country of origin, my religion at birth or the color of my skin. Sure, I'm darker than the average Anglo-Saxon; so what? I'll catch my skin cancer slightly later, on average, while "they" will get more vitamin D. I was born to a Jewish family, so what? I don't think too highly of Judaism, nor do I think too highly of any religion. And sure, I was born in Israel and lived most of my life in Israel, but would I have left Israel if I was a true believer in what Israel stands for?
These generalizations are stupid. I am an independent human being, with my own thoughts, capable of my own actions. I have a certain background, yes, but I also have a brain that allows me to do what I consider to be right rather than blindly follow the culture into which I was born.
Thank goodness there are others like me. Thank goodness for the Atheist Convention about to take place in Melbourne this weekend. Sure, I won't be there; but it demonstrates to me I am not on my own. It gives me a some sense of hope.