Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I can be very sensitive. I do not cuss and do not watch movies and television programs with excessive cussing and violence. In fact, I have had some friends dub me their moral compass. I have had one friend who cusses in every sentence make an apology as I walk into the room where he has just uttered some profane words. I have never asked these people to not cuss in my presence. They just choose to out of respect for me.
Last night, I was attending an online birthday party with some friends in Second Life™. The conversation came up regarding all of the offended people and some of the ridiculous things they claim to be offended by. I knew from first meeting this group that they were loud and brazen. This is not a bad thing. I also saw they were real. Perhaps their blatant crassness can put people off who aren’t used to this, but I found delight in their shameless, genuine openness. They went on to state that there are people who have joined them for parties and such and these people left in a huff because they were ‘offended’ by the mannerisms of the group in general.
Glancing at recent news stories, it does seem that people are offended by things that seem ridiculous; historical statues, earrings, transgendered individuals using public restrooms for the sex they are now as opposed to the sex they were born to, all seem to be legitimate reasons to be offended and push to change the way these things are viewed by everyone else.
Personally, I am more offended by people, especially in books, movies and television programs who use nudity, sex and profanity just for the sake of using them. Watching the movie, Magdalene Sisters, it is noted that there is profanity as well as one scene where all the young girls were completely naked and filmed full front. This did not offend me. I knew the history of the Magdalene Laundries and this use was very appropriate. I have however, read books where explicit language was used when it was not necessary to the story. These books I used a pen to remove said profanity and the story was still perfectly told.
As I toddled off to bed last night, my mind was filled with this particular conversation and all that was said. Their words echoed and my words spun around until it hit me what being offended is all about.
Early last year, I wrote the blog post Your Greatest Weapon. I related a story I once saw in a television program depicting that when you know yourself, you can withstand any type of control by others. This is the principle that applies here as well.
It is only when you are completely okay with who you are that you can be genuinely okay with who other people are.
The same thing that keeps me from being “drawn into the dark side” by friends who tease me and say they are trying to corrupt me, is the same thing that keeps me from being offended by these same friends – I know me and I am completely okay with who I am.
Hatred is the inability to accept or tolerate other people and their ways. This is the basis of bigotry and prejudice. When you have complete and total acceptance of who you are, you will naturally accept other people for who they are and not be offended by them. You will also accept history for what it is, history. Our history is the record of those things which happened in the past and cannot be changed. Yes, I have written at length on this subject as well.
When you find yourself being offended by something, especially as it relates to another person or group of persons, step back and take a close look at yourself with regard to this offense. What is lacking within you that is causing you to be judgmental of others.
Hate cannot abide where there is true, genuine acceptance of both yourself and others.