Iocane powder

“They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.”
— Westley, The Princess Bride

At one point in the movie The Princess Bride, the hero, Westley, faces — and defeats — a vicious but rather ridiculous opponent named Vizzini. Westley and Vizzini play a guessing game involving a poisoned cup, and Westley’s victory hinges on the fact that both men’s cups are poisoned, but Westley is immune to the poison.

Twelve years ago, a rather Vizzini-like character stabbed me in the back out of petty jealousy.

I was devastated. Her actions cost me my job and put my teaching career on hold for a decade.

Today, I became aware that an acquaintance has been trying to pull a similar stunt. But her actions have little effect on me, because — like Westley — I have spent the last few years building up a resistance to the “iocane powder” she’s trying to pour down my throat.

She might manage to create an inconvenience or two, but her venom can’t cause me any real harm, because I know something she does not know:

“Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.”
— Mary Baker Eddy

We don’t have to be afraid of human hatred. Hatred is error, and error is nothing.

We don’t even have to spend years building up an immunity to it.

Emily

3 thoughts on “Iocane powder”

  1. I like it, too. Thanks. (and thanks, also, for making me hear Andre the Giant’s voice in my head this morning as a result: “You surely are a meanie.” LOL)

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