Thursday, March 6, 2014

Getting offended

Why must we always be offended? I am easily disturbed by “my rights being violated,” someone saying the wrong thing to me, or my name being pronounced wrong. Think about it. Are people really out to get you? Do they really not like you so much they are trying to destroy you? We take ourselves too seriously. 

The media has a lot to do with it. No matter what side you are on, you have a news show you can watch that tells you what you want to hear regarding your rights being attacked by your enemy. Conflict sells. We become emotionally involved in checking the news to see who offended us today. 

After the Nelson Mandela funeral, photos emerged of the Obama and Bush families sharing laughs as they travelled together to South Africa. Yet the media would have you believe they would never cordially speak to one another. I fear the politics of media have created a debate atmosphere which has fostered much unnecessary hatred. It filters down in society to where we have learned to trust no one.  

Why must it be that way? I do not have to give in to those emotional appeals to hate my neighbor. Abraham Lincoln said “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends with them?” Why not reach across the aisle and get to know those by whom you are offended. If you reach with sincerity in love, I doubt there will be many who will shut you off. 

How do you talk to someone who is so different than you? Ask questions. Ask about their kids, school, sports, work, favorite teams, foods... Diverse people have much to offer when it comes to knowledge. You can learn from almost anybody. As you get to know other people, you will learn from them and find that you grow as a person. 

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