It seems that everyone is getting offended lately. Simply turn on the news, check your Facebook feed, or go into a public place. I guarantee that within a short amount of time you will see/hear someone who is offended, or you will get offended yourself.
It is all too often that we become offended. Yet, being offended doesn’t make us right. Actually, being offended is quite the useless reaction if you think about it because it doesn’t mean that you have any ground to stand on.
To its core, the statement “I’m offended,” basically means that you disagree. But, so what? While we all have the right to agree or disagree as we please, does it accomplish anything to become outraged with offense every time we hear something that we disagree with?
Sadly, in this day and age, people think that the statement, “I am offended,” is actually a valid point. Somehow, in their mind, being offended means that they are special and exempt from dealing with something they disagree with. Furthermore, for most people, the line itself is only used as the last line of defense in a situation they are unable to provide a viable argument for. Therefore, in turn, the statement becomes their argument.
Now, I am not saying that everyone who has ever gotten offended (including myself) falls under this category. However, imagine a world where everyone was constantly structuring their sentences, actions, etc., to not offend other people. We would all constantly be walking on eggshells, attempting not to say anything controversial.
And where exactly would that land us?
Well, first of all, it would be a boring ass world. Second of all, what good could ever come from this?
Actually, it is by being offended that real change is made in this world. It is by hearing the hard topics and allowing people to convey their opinions that we achieve change in this world (for the better and even for the worst.)
There was once a time when I too became offended quite frequently. It didn’t take long for me to hear some words of wisdom by my early 20’s that changed that. While it may be hard to believe, or easy to believe (depending on where you stand) this bit of wisdom came from a man named Stephen Fry. According to him,
“It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that,” as if that gives them certain rights. It’s no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I’m offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what.”
You can read that as many times as you wish, and the words will never change. However, they may become truer as you speak them, I’m not sure. Either you will be more offended by his words, or a little light-bulb will go off in your mind and you will instantly think of how useless being offended is.And since being offended easily is a choice, YOU are the one who holds the power to stop being offended. It isn’t up to other people to stop you from being offended. There is an old quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that says,
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
And the same holds true for being offended. No one can make you be offended without your consent. So what will you choose? To be offended and useless, or to actually do something to change the world, whether it is controversial or not? The choice is yours and yours only.