I innocently handed out a flyer to a few of the group members at a meeting that is supported by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Respectfully, I cannot mention the organization’s name because the one decree that I do know about the group is the, “What is said there, stays there” rule.
The group coordinator and his assistant punished me verbally for expressing religious ideas through the language on the flyer. In the title, I had included the phrase ‘A Baha’i Initiative’, and also a tag line, ‘Cleanliness is highly spiritualizing.’ Two weeks earlier, I had forwarded the flyer to the coordinator and asked specifically for the exact procedure to follow in order to submit my request as a meeting agenda item. No one in the group thought it practical to contact me directly to express their concern about the wording.
What I didn’t know hurt me. At the meeting, in front of my peers and my boss, the coordinator and his assistant barked out reprimands and chastised me for presenting such a strange request. I wasn’t offered the opportunity to explain my plan to clean up the city one block at a time by gathering volunteers to help with the project. Instead, I found myself apologizing to the group for having offended them and expressed my ignorance of any rule that does not allow the language I used in the flyer.
That night, I fell asleep dreaming about barking dogs.
|Clean Living Initiative|
|How some people explain themselves.|