Perhaps it is global warming? Perhaps a need for attention. Whatever the reason, it seems that a lot of people these days go out of their way to be upset or offended. In a bid to make everything bland and tasteless, rather I mean politically correct, anyone can be offended about anything and is more than welcome to complain about it, stamp their feet, and sometimes actually get a result.
More than a few years ago, back in the homeland of Wales, there was a one man television show starring Dave Allen who would talk and tell winding stories, as only the Irish can, but also have various jokes as well. On the very first show he used the dreaded ‘F’ word. We all know what the word is, George Carlin was even gracious enough to list it along with the other voodoo words for broadcast television. So he says the ‘F’ word and the papers the next day (no internet in those days) were full of uproar, complains about decency on television, calls for the head of the BBC to be fired and so forth and so on. The next week came along, the Dave Allen show had another episode, and the following day there were more letters to the editor in newspapers up and down the country. Of course, several of them were in essence telling the same tale. I watched last weeks show and was terribly offended so I watched this weeks show to see if I would still be offended.
If you leave your house looking to find trouble, usually you find what you are looking for. If you get out of bed wanting to complain about something and be offended, of course you will end up being offended and complaining. It is a very large, wonderful world out there, it is full of good and evil, happy and sad, winners and Leafs, and there will always be something to take offense to.
If I was so inclined, during my 27 minute drive (no sir, I did not go over the speed limit, officer) to work, I could have complained bitterly about cars that drove too close behind me because I wasn’t driving fast enough for their drivers liking. When the sitatution was reversed, the poor driving of the car in front who was unable to actually reach the speed limit offended me so I could have taken down their registration plate and posted it online, airing all my bad feelings. I didn’t do anything because I don’t get offended easily, and there are more positive and productive things to concentrate on rather than whining, complaining, sulking and other such negative emotions. Obviously the above description is totally fictional incase someone thinks I am talking about them and gets offended.
I don’t know why I find it easy to avoid being offended. I don’t look to be offended and if someone actually does try to offend me I usually don’t even acknowledge it and just carry on ignoring it. I am so tired of knowing people, some friends, some co-workers, whose first reaction to anything is to complain, to take anything said to them as a complaint and to be offended by seemingly nothing. Yes, I appreciate that you feel offended but can you please take two steps back and think for a moment.
Why are you offended? Was it intentional? Why was it intentional? Was it worth being offended over? If you attempt to not be offended will your life be better or worse? If simple words, or even worse, the way that they are spoken offend you, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate just what you are trying to get out of life. What makes you so easily offended? Is there a root cause way back in your childhood? An insecurity from that time of your life when you were in the dating scene? Is it something physical or mental that makes you feel offended? In order to avoid any more offensive, these kind of ‘touchy feely’ questions have to be asked. In an ideal world, people wouldn’t be so easily offended and someone would just tell you to grow up and shut up, nut up or shut up, or just STFU!
I don’t go out of my way to offend people, it happens just by accident (honestly). Take last year, both my wife and I commented on something that we both disagreed with. As it turned out, we were both wrong, we held up our hands and admitted it, and yet people took offensive. We wrote about a local business and we offended one person so much that they demanded we change the name of the website. For whatever reason, people get offended, it cannot be helped or avoided. Perhaps rather than trying to dodge the slings and arrows of discontent and disentry, we should just accept life as it is and try not to cry over a slip of the tongue or a misdirected word.
Just as Austin Powers yelling, “Do I make you horny baby?” at people, I feel like yelling, “Do I offend you baby?” and then ignoring the responses.