Finding Offense! Don’t you see that when you ask someone to be silent because you don’t like what they have to say, or you want to change how others do business because it’s not how you would run that kind of business, or you want to make others conform to your point of view because you believe you’re so right about something, that you’re really asking them to be like you in some way or totally? Isn’t that virtually impossible in many ways? If I’m not mistaken, aren’t we all individual, unique and different? What we’re seeing more often in this world is a backlash of egos, driven by arrogant disdain, contempt, fear, insecurity or intolerance for what is deemed to be utterly unacceptable, a difference in belief or opinion; a variation in choice and in behavior; unique and varied points of view, speech and thought. And frankly, this backlash against individuality and freedom of expression is not acceptable if we wish to continue existing together freely on this one rotating sphere!
If we find that we are often part of the group of the offended, upset at not getting our way – what we’re really admitting is our own insecurity, fear, intolerance and lack of humility for others with regard to their differing perspectives, values, beliefs, opinions, speech, thoughts, talents, and any other aspect unique to them! Being offended to the point of asking others to change or demanding it, especially when their actions are not harming us directly or intentionally, is an admission by our own fragile egos that we’re more right, we’re more entitled or we’re crushed that we didn’t get our way! It’s an admission that we might be threatened by what another person represents, especially when we unite in packs to shame others into silence or into changing who they are or what they believe. To that very matter, who made us judge over all the world and who decides who is more right? Are we really going to litigate all belief, values, thoughts, actions and behaviors to the point that we nullify all of our collective individual freedoms?
We have more than enough laws on the books already concerning human behavior and actions which we collectively unite in deeming intolerable. Do we need more, or perhaps just more self-control? Should we outlaw all forms of expression, music, books, art, hunting, fishing, farming, sports, hobbies of any kind, movies, television, religious and faith-based practices, owning businesses, having children and everything else that fills
us culturally, defines us morally and enables us to shape us as individuals because we might find someone else’s practice therein objectionable? That’s what could happen over time because we’ve opened this Pandora’s box of intolerance and offense! Where do we draw the line upon this crusade of “rightness” born out of insecurity, fear or the need to be vindicated?
If someone is living their life according to their own beliefs and values, without breaking the laws and causing harm intentionally, then shouldn’t we endeavor to let them live as we ask to be permitted to live? This immense battle of the enraged and offended egos, which is growing, developing and spreading worldwide – when it comes right down to it – is really nothing more than adult bullying! It’s diverse groups of insecure, fearful, intolerant bullies trying to suppress, silence or even oppress others into conforming to them; attempting to alter all of life around them to make it more acceptable and suitable to just themselves because they cannot or will not control their own emotions when things don’t go as they would like them to go!
The end result is the willful suppression of all forms of individual expression, as there will always be offended people willing to claim something as such! If we’re going to demand our children stop bullying, we should first stop showing them how readily we adults do it as a response when we don’t get our way! Part of living in the world amongst one another is first learning to accept one another as is. To ask another to change for you is to admit you are flawed, not them.