OK. That’s it. Everyone has offended me.
The flags, the guns, the gays, the lesbians, the christians, the atheists, the rich, the poor, the politicians, the foreigners, the black and the white, the carnivores and the vegetarians, humans and Martians… all of them. All of them have offended me.
So. Now that I have said all that, let me ask you a very import question. Knowing that I have just declared that I am offended…
What are you supposed to do about it?
What obligation do you believe you have, in responding to my feelings? Probably none. Most likely, it doesn’t trigger any response in you at all. Want to know why?
Because the feeling is mine. It has no effect on you. You aren’t really guilty of anything. It’s not your problem. Being offended is my problem. You aren’t obligated to do anything to resolve a problem that isn’t yours.
There’s a huge difference between being offended and being threatened. Maybe we don’t understand the difference. Maybe that’s the problem.
Let’s be logical for a brief moment. What do we teach out kids?
Be yourself. Be proud of who you are. Everyone is special in their own way. The things that make you unique are the things that make you beautiful. Stand up for what you believe in. Don’t tolerate bullies. Love one another.
Stuff like that. All that crap that sounds so nice, but we don’t display it in front of them.
We have become a nation of spoiled-rotten, entitlement-minded, selfish, arrogant knuckleheads. We seem to believe that if we aren’t happy, it’s someone else fault. We act like everyone else should be responsible for our life.
We seem to think that if anything that doesn’t perfectly match our ideals, it must be changed, removed, condemned or destroyed.
The flag offends you? It has to come down.
Gays offend you? They must be harrassed.
Christians offend you? They must be ridiculed.
Atheists offend you? They must be ostracized.
Not far enough? OK, well where does it go from there?
If you are powerful enough, you can be just like Hitler and murder everyone that offends you and spread that evil all over the globe.
Hatred like that starts somewhere, doesn’t it?
His anger and resentment cost people their lives. Yours may only piss a few people off, but it’s a start.
If you feel that you need to express your indignation over offenses, you might eventually follow the same pattern. One group of people despises another and something must be done about it. Whether it’s an insult or demand, or taken as far as murder; it needs to stop.
The things that might I find offensive really aren’t your problem. Nobody owes me anything. I can’t logically expect you to change your life to make mine more tolerable. That would be selfish, irresponsible and foolish to expect that.
As humans, we are capable of love. We are fully able to extend unselfish and unconditional love to anyone we choose. We don’t have to agree with them or even hang out with them. We don’t have to encourage them or support things we don’t agree with.
But, we don’t have to condemn and attack everyone and everything that triggers a negative feeling inside us.
If everything that causes offense is dealt with, how long before it turns on you? While you demand their flag comes down today, what happens when yours has to come down tomorrow for the same reason?
If my lifestyle and choices are determined to be more important than yours, where does it stop? At what point do we come to our senses and begin acting like adults?
Does the world really improve when the oppressed become the oppressors? What happens when the offended become the offenders?
I am going to quote an old man that taught me a few things, one more time.
“Your freedom extends as far as the next guy’s nose.”
Once my freedom begins threatening yours, we have a problem.
We are setting a very poor example for the next generation.
Grow up and get over yourself.