I had an opportunity to choose to be offended today. I choose not to.
According to Wikipedia, to ‘take offence’ is
To feel, and show, resentment at another’s actions or words.
The person involved may, or may not, have intended offence, but that is not my problem. My problem is my response. It seems that taking offence is endemic in western culture. Maybe that is what gave rise to political correctness, so that we now live in a society where even our comedians have to be extremely careful that they don’t offend our sensibilities, because we have lost the art of laughing at ourselves.
Before anyone picks me up on that statement, I’m not denying that there are certain things that we as a nation should never allow to be said. Racism, for example, isn’t funny.
Chris Dillow, on the site, liberalconspiracy.org suggests that there are three related underlying pathologies involved in our society’s over-sensitivity:-
- A hatred of disorder.
I don’t agree with everything he says, but it is an interesting point of view. Read the article here.
Proverbs 18v19 tells us that
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city.
That certainly rings true.
Much as taking offence is a choice, I have to admit that when I am treated unjustly, I don’t always find it easy to resist the temptation to take offence. Sometimes I have to fight myself. For anyone fighting the temptation right now, there is a great site , meanttobehappy.com, which gives ‘10 ways you too can stop being so easily offended.’ Fortunately, at the moment, there are far too many interesting things going on in my life to entertain ideas of resentment for long. Maybe that is another cure.
There are, of course, some things that we should take offence at, child abuse, poverty, persecution, to name but a few, but they demand action not resentment. If we spent time standing against the real injustices in life, maybe we wouldn’t have time life to care what a few insignificant people had to say.