Taking Offense: a Primer

Taking offense is a form of inappropriate personal protection, sort of like carrying a taser to a wedding.

So here are some rules to live by:

  • If you are offended, you are not listening, you are imposing your own values on someone else.
  • If you go out of your way to find offense, maybe a good cry will help uncover what’s hurting you so much.
  • If you are offended by something, stop, ask yourself why. If your answer is any form of “why would anyone do that” – stop, and ask someone why they do that.
  • If you offend someone, remind them to say, “Thank you for opening my ears.”
  • Everyone’s job is to be offensive to closed minds. Just remember: your jolt probably won’t be the one to crack that nut. Be willing to move on.
  • Since merely sitting still and meditating will offend _someone_, you might as well just be yourself.
  • If you go entire days without offending someone at least a little, you might need to get a life.

Slightly more seriously: we all bump up against each other all the time. We both have responsibilities: for every action there is a reaction. The anode should feel free to emit; the cathode should feel free to duck.

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