Monday, 19 August 2013

CARP ON BIGOTRY.............

In all walks of life one will encounter bigotry, and bridge clubs are no exceptions given the age profile, and the privileged and managerial background,  of its members. 
Bigotry is a wretched form of blindness. It is ignorance in action, and as E.H. Chapin astutely observed " it dwarfs the soul by shutting out the truth ". The blindfolds of intolerance and narrow mindedness are inevitably made from the strands of prejudice, woven tightly together to form a hard impenetrable material. 
Often the bigot conditions him/herself to be obstinately and zealously attracted to an opinion that no other rational thinking person  would ever entertain. They seize on anything or anybody in support of their prejudices, refusing to accept alternative views which are based on solid evidence and well established truths. " Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hands with a grip that kills it " ( Tagore Rabindranath ). Indeed , true bigotry is when people can't see the facts because their beliefs are blocking the way. 
Inside bridge clubs bigotry rears its ugly head with regards to " acceptable " partners, team selection, committee decisions , and the shenanigans of closely-knit cliques. Personality conflicts, clashing egos, petty politics and group in-fighting are all fuelled by prejudice and intolerance, creating a climate in which bigotry thrives. Yet quite bizarrely the bigots never accept or acknowledge that they are the bigots. In their eyes it those those who hold opposing or challenging views who are displaying prejudice and bias. In some cases bigots develop an uncanny ability to convince themselves that their bigotry is perfectly justified. To challenge such intolerant people can be dangerous, for when they are forced to drag out their dark convictions , they get terribly infuriated and angry. Therefore, it came as a shocking truth to Albert Einstein when he observed, with real sadness and regret , that " it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice ".

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