An individual lived in a country that was deeply divided along political lines. They were passionate about democracy which impacted their day-to-day choices, a moral stance that would soon cause tensions between them and a colleague.
The person explained more about the political tensions in their country: “In my country, many commercial establishments (ranging from hotels to florists) declared a political stance; they are either “blue” or “yellow”. Yellow shops are pro-democracy (we call it the yellow economic circle), and blue shops are pro-government.”
The individual explained that they were “deep yellow” and pro-democracy. “I boycott all blue establishments”, they explained. “I don’t take the subway anymore because the company harmed pro-democracy protestors. I cut off contact with all friends and family who are blue. Everyone knows that about me, including my co-workers.”
A Lunch Date
One day, the individual and their co-worker Anna had planned to have lunch together. Anna made the restaurant selection and placed her order as the individual was still busy with work.
An Unwelcome Surprise
When they arrived at the restaurant, the individual was shocked to see it was a pro-government “blue” establishment. Anna had kept this information secret from them, assuming they might not attend otherwise.
The Hasty Exit
Frustration and annoyance welled up within the individual. “I got extremely annoyed, canceled my order, and walked out on her”, they recounted.
Despite their strong beliefs, the individual immediately felt bad about their hasty exit. “I felt extremely bad about this, and I definitely could’ve checked myself to see if the restaurant is blue or yellow beforehand too”, they considered.
A Post-Lunch Conversation
After assessing their actions, the individual approached Anna with profuse apologies for their impulsive behavior. However, they also made it clear that they did not appreciate the fact that she withheld this crucial information.
Anna, who shared the same yellow political stance, understood the individual’s reasoning. However, she still felt abandoned and resentful about the incident.
A Torn Workplace
While everyone in the workplace was aligned with a pro-democracy view, they remained divided over the individual’s actions. Some colleagues empathized with the frustration they felt. However, the abrupt departure, even in the face of shared political beliefs, still raised questions about the appropriateness of their reaction.
The individual headed online to share their story, asking the internet whether it felt they had overreacted. To their relief, everyone came to their defense. “Anna obviously knew your stance yet still misled you”, someone pointed out. “The fault is completely with her. Honestly, I’m surprised she went through with it given your stand and how faithfully you follow it.”
A Fellow Citizen
The individual received plentiful support from fellow citizens. “I’m from the same country, and I would’ve reacted exactly the same way, especially given how difficult things are right now”, one person empathized.
Hate Against Anna
Many people rushed to criticize Anna. “She seems to be the type of person who will admonish others for doing something “unethical”, but will have no problem doing the same thing if it suits her”, they theorized.
However, the individual was quick to defend any such comments: “I feel the need to speak up for Anna here. Anna is very sweet. She’s not the kind of person you’re describing, and realizing this, I think I have to talk to her about this again.”
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