I had my first pleasant interaction with a Jehovah’s Witness the other day at the Visitor’s Centre.
Now, I know that most people’s first reaction to a missionary looks something that the following scene from Airplane:
But hark ye well to my tale, internet, because this is the story of The Vacationing Jehovah’s Witnesses.
And let it be a message to you all.
I work at the local visitor’s centre in Location Where I Live, State. Essentially, my job entails answering visitor’s questions about the area, things to do, cuisine, nearby counties, booking hotel rooms, events, and the like. We have a lovely selection of brochures to peruse.
Anyhow, a couple came in a few days ago looking for things to do within the next few days. The forecast said rain, so they were interested in, y’know, not being outside. Perhaps a nice historical landmark or a house tour or a museum. Something of that nature.
We got to chitchatting, as you do, and it came to light that they were volunteers.
“Volunteers?” says I, “do tell!”
“Jehovah’s Witnesses”, the lady admits, reluctantly, and then she waits.
Now I admit, I am not a Jehovah’s Witness. I have no idea what they stand for. I don’t really understand anything about them.
This is what I know about Jehovah’s Witnesses:
They go around and knock on people’s doors. And people find that really annoying.
Okay, I looked it up. Jehovah’s Witnesses go around and tell people that the world is going to end soon and that they should maybe prepare for that. Which, quite honestly, knowing that they believe that the world’s time is running out, is from their point of view a really nice thing to do. If I knew the world was ending next week, the last thing I’d want to do is go around and have people slam their doors in my face.
Anyways, I may not know much about missionaries, but I do know the face of someone who expects to be made fun of when I see it, and this poor woman was expecting to get harassed.
So I said, “Oh, that’s nice. I find volunteer work to be pretty rewarding.”
And the relief on that couple’s face was heartbreaking.
We chatted for a few more minutes.
They did not tell me that the world was ending.
I did not say anything derogatory about their beliefs.
They went on their merry way.
Now, I don’t know anything about these people and what they say to the homeowners who answer them, but I can tell when someone is used to being put down about their beliefs.
That’s called bullying, folks. This ain’t the playground.
I guess the moral of the story is that we should be a little nicer to Jehovah’s Witnesses, because when they aren’t dressed up and knocking on doors, they’re regular people who go on vacation and enjoy eating Mexican food and like history museums and have a deep conviction that God’s gonna take over the world.