It seems today that everyone is offended by everything. Whether or not the offense was intended, implied, or simply a mistake, a large group of Americans simply take offense to it and take up their battle flag to hunt down anyone who thinks that way to “put an end to it”. As if there is a way to eradicate offensive speech and ideals from the face of the earth. Not only is this not possible but, in my opinion, a huge waste of time and energy. We have people going on “crusades” to eliminate offensive speech and behavior in this country as if it is an achievable goal.
The idea of being offended literally lies in the difference of the people who are interacting. That means that in no way will there ever be an end to the possibility of being offended. If I visit a traditional Japanese household and I do not remove my shoes, that is an offense to the Japanese family who invited me into their home. Even if it was a mistake, because as an American I am not used to removing my shoes, it is still offensive. So does that mean we should now have a law that everyone in America is supposed to remove their shoes when entering any household in the U.S.? That would keep a small percentage of people from being offended and should solve the problem right? Well no, what if in my household taking off your shoes in my presence is offensive? Whoops, now we are in a bit of a pickle, who do we care more about? What rule should we follow to make sure no one is offended?
The problem as I see it is this, offense is the problem of the person who is offended. It is literally up to us as the recipient of the possible offensive actions or words to decide to be offended. If someone says something that I would deem offensive, it is my problem whether or not I am offended. It is not the fault of the person speaking. How can we possibly be offended by the way someone else thinks? It really makes no sense and is a continuing problem with the youth of today. We are becoming a society where we are literally controlled by the thoughts, actions, and speech of other people. Bruce Lee said it best in a quote from an interview he once had, “You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you.
True power is sitting back and observing everything with logic. If words control you that means everyone else can control you. Breath and allow things to pass”. We as a society are beginning this dangerous trend of “I’m telling mom!” Mom being the media, and government lol. I don’t like what you said and it offended me so instead of realizing that I’m choosing to be offended and learning how to deal with offensive behavior and speech, I will just tell on you and get mom to change your behavior so I don’t have to deal with it anymore. What a completely backward and crazy idea.
Instead of trying to eradicate offensive speech and actions, why don’t we as a society learn to deal with it in a mature and adult way. There will never be an end to offensive people, and I am in no way condoning people who are offensive, I am however trying to get the rest of us to understand, we can choose to be offended or not. We can choose to try and understand the position of the person being offensive and maybe even possibly have a conversation with them about their story and why they think that way. I think if more of us were concerned with the person that is causing offense instead of the offense itself we could go a long way toward mending our social woes and create a society where we actually listen to each other instead of just hearing what each other says and dissecting it like a science project.
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