Does something offend you? Perhaps you are offended by the things that are on television. Are you offended by nudity? Foul language? Insults? Well, you are not alone. People all over the world are offended every day.
But what does it mean to be offended? It means to be hurt or upset to be displeased or pained. So somebody makes a lewd joke and you are offended by it. You are displeased with their lack of moral fiber and obvious disregard for you feelings about the matter. So you are upset at the amount of nudity in art and the public.
So then, why are you offended? This is the key issue that I will be addressing in this wiki and if you don't like what I have to say or are offended by what I suggest then you need to read it all the way through because this is addressed to you.
People are offended for only a few reasons:
1) They are offended when their pride is challenged.
2) They are offended when their reality is challenged.
3) They are offended by something because it represents a perceived flaw in them.
Number one is simple. For instance, I consider myself an intelligent person. If some idiot were to call me stupid I would be offended. I am proud of my mind and when that pride is challenged I am displeased with the fact that I will not be able to reason with the person as they have labeled me stupid and thusly will not listen. I am hurt that someone thinks I am stupid. I am upset that I came across as being stupid. Another example would be thusly: consider the person that takes pride in their appearance, they are inherently vain and obsess over their looks. Myself, I am not the best or worst looking of people but imagine my telling one of these vain people that they were a horrible trollish creature unfit to be seen in public! That would certainly be an insult to their pride and one would expect that they be offended by such a remark. This is a perfectly normal thing. Everyone has something about themselves that they take pride in. The solution to the problem is simple: humble yourself. It has taken me many years to realize that I am quite the idiot at times. That I am not the smartest person and that I am often wrong. With this in mind it has been quite a long and hard journey and I am still not completely rid of my pride. In any case, we all need to examine ourselves and discover whether or not our pride is well placed. For the vain, vanity is not a good thing. Pride is not always a good thing. For someone who won an award it is great, for someone who accomplished something great it is warranted, but unless you are in a beauty pageant you are not going to win an award, and your outfit does not count as a great accomplishment. There are other examples of negative pride but I am far too lazy to give credit to them all. Take these as simple examples. If this is the case for you and you are offended because your pride was challenged then you must examine yourself and examine your pride. Find out why you are proud and why you were offended.
Number two is a common one. Each and every one of us builds our own reality. No matter how the world really is we all make something of it based on our own experiences. When this reality is challenged it forces us to examine our own perceptions, which is hard for most. Say you have long held a belief in something and have managed to convince yourself of its being true. Then one day someone challenges that belief. Whether it was on purpose or not people often react negatively to such things. Say that you are a devout Christian and someone tells you that your religion is a joke. They say that the bible is all a work of fiction and that your beliefs are wrong. That is certainly offensive. Your reality has been challenged. The very existence of your lord and savior has been disputed. Of course you are offended, and with good right. Or do you have the right to be offended? What would a good Christian do? Would they get all red and angry and start yelling and calling that person a vile pagan? Surely not. This applies to all people. if your reality is challenged what do you do? Again, you examine yourself and you examine your beliefs and you find out why you where offended. This is infinitely better than allowing anger to over take you.
The third reason why people get offended is because it represents some perceived flaw in them. A person who is offended by the portrayal of the penis on the statue of David is either offended by their own discomfort with such subject matter or they are offended by reason number two in that their values dictate that such things should not be public. There were people who are offended by any possibility that something might be sexual. This is due to their being uncomfortable with the subject or they are offended by their own sexuality. It is a well known fact that many homophobes are, in fact, homosexual. They hate ‘gays' because they hate themselves and thusly take it out on others. They are offended by the reminder of what they perceive as a flaw in themselves. On a similar vein atheists may be offended by public displays of religion because of some guilt they might have from not claiming a deity. It could also be due to their wishes for validation. But when everyone around them thinks differently their difference is made apparent and this makes them feel as if there is something wrong with them. In reality there is no reason for people to perceive such flaws in themselves. If they were to simply examine them and try to understand why they are offended they would better be able to change whatever negative thoughts they might be having about themselves.
The key here is self examination and introspection. When you are offended do not lash out, rather lash in. you where just challenged and you can stand strong, but only if you find out why this bothers you. if somebody calls you a wannabe and you are offended, is it because you are a wannabe or is it because you take pride in your individuality? Perhaps you need to seek individuality or you need to realize that we are all exactly the same because we are all unique? If seeing Janet Jackson's breast during the super bowl halftime show made you so upset that you could no longer perform as a person then perhaps you need to seek therapy for both the incident and to figure out the root of your problem with breasts. If you are offended by the penis on the statue of David, is it because you are insecure about your own size (for males obviously), or is it because you view nudity as something dirty. If you are offended by paintings of nude women is it because you are ashamed of your own body, is it because you feel you are lacking in some area, is it because you feel as if you have an unwanted surplus in some way, or is it because you again find nudity to be something that is disgusting. In any case, when you are offended do not whine about it, try a little introspection. Find out the root of your pain. then act accordingly.
If you were offended in any way by what I had to say then you are one of the people this message is addressed to. You are the sad person that does not know themselves. I hope that this message has not fallen on deaf ears and that you heed my advice and learn to examine your feelings. This world is becoming increasingly offensive, but not because things are going down hill. It is because we all want things our way, and we don't even know ourselves well enough to choose which is ‘our' way.
Any comments and discussions can be held below.
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