Yeah, I’ve had a few over my life.
The one that’s easy to explain happened one day when I was strolling through my local shopping mall roughly a few decades ago. I was jaunting past the bookstore on the way to somewhere else, and something out of the corner of my eye caught my attention.
It was a coffee table-type book entitled Nature: The Other Earthlings, and had a picture of some elephants on the cover who were looking at the camera.
It totally jarred me, because for my entire life (probably due to my early interest in science fiction), “Earthlings” had always meant “Humans.” This image brought it inescapably home to me that all life that we know of can be classified as “Earthlings,” and that our perceived separation from them can never be as profound as any separation that we will feel if/when we encounter extra-terrestrial life. No matter how different we may be from apes, anteaters, algae, Paris Hilton, slime molds, bacteria, etc.; we will always be more related to each other than whatever we discover off-planet.
That really shook and changed my perspective permanently.
Another one: I was in an alternative bookstore about 15 years ago, and randomly picked up a book entitled: International Nude/Clothes-Free Travel Guide 1992/93. It was exactly what it said, of course (my luck…where I live has nothing close). It was loaded with pictures of nude recreational sites, including tons of people…nude recreating.
I flipped through it at random, and found a picture of what was evidently a children’s beach (there were no adults in the photo). What astonished me (aside from seeing a bunch of naked kids, which isn’t very common these days) was how normal it looked. They weren’t different-colored kids with bones in their noses and plates in their lips, a la National Geographic; they looked like normal kids that I would see in my neighborhood. Had they been exotic-looking, my brain would have said, “Well, SURE, they live in the Amazon rain forest!” or something. But they looked like local kids, except they were all naked and no-one seemed to be getting traumatized, victimized, abused, exploited, or any of the other negative things that we’re supposed to assume.
My brain, almost audibly, reacted thusly: “My God, real human beings!”
It was like finding out that I wasn’t the only one of my own species on the planet for the first time. I had discovered my people. I’ve been a naturist ever since. I always thought that the insistence that we wear clothes just to cover up certain parts made no sense, but I’d never known that I was not alone in that belief.
I’ve become convinced through years of observation, study, and thinking since then, that the perverts aren’t the ones who wish to go around as God made us. Rather, it’s the ones who wish to banish our humanity that need to be watched out for. THEY’RE the people that want to hurt everybody if they don’t cover up.
There are your monsters.