Don’t Do “Door to Door Cruelty”

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08I like to ask door-to-door religious salespersons, “What percentage of people are rude to you?” The answer is always above 75%.
I am told that when salespeople approach someone’s doorstep to talk about God, people inside the house tend to respond by taking one of four actions:

  • Hide and pretend to not be home
  • Shut the door without a word
  • Diatribe unkind words
  • Belittle

If you’ve ever behaved this way before, stop.
From the point of view of these door-to-door sales folk, they’ve found something in their lives they’re really excited about – and all they want to do is share the good news.
That isn’t so terrible, is it? It certainly doesn’t warrant rudeness.
Somehow we think that because it’s religious folk sharing something with us, it’s different. We think we can discriminate against these people. We think because they’re spreading religion, somehow this makes them deserve extra rudeness. They’re just sharing something that lights them up. It’s not much different from me saying you ought to watch the movie “The Big Lebowski.” (The fact that you know me does color the recommendation a bit differently, but still, the similarity between the two shouldn’t be too hard to see.)
Moreover, and duly note this, when people are rude to door-to-door evangelists, it plays perfectly into the evangelists’ home organization’s desire that missionaries feel cut off from the world. It plays perfectly into their belief that people don’t like or appreciate them, and that the only people in the world who understand are their fellow co-religionists. Let me explain: An organization sends them on a mission to spread ‘good news.’ The missionaries receive the cold shoulder over and over again. The neophyte religious salespersons conclude that the world is cruel and that the only ones who understand and are kind are the members of the community who sent them out. By being rude, you help them fulfill that prophecy.
Bottom line: be nice to religious folk. Stop being rude. It’s what we ought to do.
This week’s spiritual-religious advice:
Be kind.
With love,
rabbi_brian_name_written

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