I submitted and published my article "Defying conventional wisdom" to this medium a few days ago. In it, I discussed overcrowding in Tehran and how it should not be an excuse for complaints. My argument was meant to be a pleasant departure from the conventional wisdom as indicated by the title of the article. I would be dissatisfied if everyone agreed with everything I said in that article and would also be disappointed if everyone criticized me.
Luckily, there are a few good comments and a couple of hostile unsubstantiated expressions that gratuitously attacked my academic credentials for no apparent reason except that I have a Ph.D. I am confused why should someone attach you for possessing a Ph. D?
We should be grateful to the publishers of this journal for providing this public forum so that fellow Iranians and others can express their opinions and post their comments. We should certainly be able to do that with outmost respect for each other and no verbal harassment. Those who responded to my article with their thoughtfully crafted comments, I appreciate your sincerity. Those who were agitated by my arguments and made hostile remarks merely revealed a lack of analytical capacity to engage the topic.
I intentionally didn’t respond to individuals because I didn’t want to legitimize their ad hominem attacks. Their misguided attitudes reminded me of a story. When I was a kid living in Iran, there was an old farmer who used to live in our alley: his name was Mash Gholam. He was a 100% religious fanatic, not well educated, who accepted no logic except his own dogmatism. One day I ask him amusingly what happens if someone tells you there is no God. He became so furious and said angrily;” I will beat him very hard on the head with my shovel!”
My friends, if you have something reasonable to say, say it politely. If not, you will be better off to remain quiet. You get more respect by doing so. Have you heard the story of a wise man who gave a speech to a group of people?
All of a sudden, a lunatic stood up, and appraised the man for his speech. The man terminated his speech and left the place with disappointment and regret. He said the speech for which I get a compliment from a lunatic should really be a deplorable one. I certainly did not intend to appease everyone when I wrote that article especially assailants and attackers. The type of mentality some expressed, I believe, does not certainly belong to a public forum like this. It belongs to the places when issues are resolved by use of force not reason.
I don’t understand why sometimes we become so hostile toward others for no apparent reason. Does anyone recall that TV commercial featuring a beautiful actress who popularized this slogan: Don’t hate me because I am beautiful? Even though, the advertisement was for some kind of hair care product for women, it describes a mental problem some of us may have. We sometimes hate other people simply because we envy them. We resort to spewing nonsense because we have nothing else to offer.
After I saw the comments by a couple of readers, I asked myself what could have I done to agitate these people. What did I say which was offensive to them? All I said in my article was that you cannot complain about something that you are part of. When I was a students living in dormitory, I was frequently distracted by noise and other interruptions. One day I complained to our housemother that this building is too noisy. She told me astonishingly,” if you don’t like noise, don’t make any”. If you don’t like crowds, don’t live in the crowded cities.
If my balanced and reasoned article could elicit such unsubstantiated and personal criticism, you have serious social/psychological issues my friends. You need to strengthen your mind and learn how to avoid bigotry. What is the difference between you and those harassing thugs in the street of Tehran? Grow up; get used to unconventional wisdom and yield to modern maturity. I did not assault or insult anyone directly or indirectly. Neither should you.
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