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Do you choose to be offended?

19 Oct

Have you ever met someone whose  reaction to every situation is to be offended?  Life is short and the relationships we have with other people are meant to help us enjoy our walk through our one and only life.  How can enjoy life with others if they or we  are constantly looking for a reason to be angry?  When I was growing up my parents always told us to be kind to others for we never knew what was going on in another person’s life on the inside.  They told us if they are acting mean on the outside they just might be hurting on the inside.  I can understand their reasoning and I have tried to instill the same thought process in my children as they were growing up.

In the past few years I’ve noticed that there seem to be more people who are easily offended.  It doesn’t take doing something in the wrong way to offend them sometimes it’s the omission of doing something that sets them off.  I think that this behavior is an outward sign of how self-centered our society has become in the past couple of decades.  Its the whole “What are you going to do for me and what have you done for me lately”  mentality.  How did we get here and how do we turn this train around?  We are not better for it.

The 2000  movie Pay it Forward starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment  in which a young boy stumbles upon a simple way to change the world had a lot of things right.  The focus has to move from us to the rest of the world.  We have to think of ways to improve the lives of those around us for the world as a whole to be a better place.  Before this can start we have to start with ourselves.  If everything is about us then that is all we are seeing.  We need to get beyond that point.  I’m not saying we have to head out into the world miles from our home for this.  It can begin in our own homes by demonstrating manners and politeness.  In my childhood days it was called minding your P’s and Q’s.  I think that has gone by the wayside. 

It can begin just be doing something unexpected to make someone else’s day just a little better.  Is there someone at work or home that normally does a specific job?  Is it something you could do for that person?  At work I can empty another’s trashcan, clean the bathroom, surprise them with a candy bar on their desk or just remember to replace the toilet paper if I used the last of it.  You may run into someone who will take offense if you do one of these things because instead of appreciating the kindness they may think you that you think they aren’t doing their job instead of trying to be kind.  Ouch!  Proceed cautiously but do it anyway. 

At home try to make kindness prevail.  When I do the laundry at home I don’t just do mine but gather everyone elses as well.  It’s not something I would have to do because I have two grown children living at home and they are fully capable of doing their own laundry.  What I have found is that if I make the extra effort to make their life easier they have done the same to make mine easier.  I come home from work some days with meals made and the kitchen already cleaned.  Kindness is contagious and it feels great.

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12 Comments

Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Inspiration, New Challenges, Reflections

 

Tags: , ,

12 responses to “Do you choose to be offended?

  1. Joe Clark

    October 19, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Great post! I have a feeling that your adult children are really great people – because you and your husband obviously set the example for them.

     
  2. flyinggma

    October 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Thanks Joe. Now it’s time to start working on the next generation with our grandson in our home.

     
  3. Thomas Stazyk

    October 19, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    So true! I don’t know where this attitude has come from but everyone seems to be looking for an insult in everything. Down here a health care organization put together a fund raiser to help people with brain injuries. They had a zombie party–because people love dressing up and zombies are all the rage. Well. There was a huge outcry because people decided that somehow there was a link between having people dress as zombies at a fund raiser and the implication that brain damaged people were zombies. Give me a break.

     
  4. flyinggma

    October 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Wow! I really feel for the organizers. How could they know they would be turned on when their intentions were to help.

    I chaired the Post Prom party for about 10 years and it was always a challenge to come up with new ideas to keep the kids interested and coming to the party each year.

    One year I made the mistake of having a M*A*S*H theme for the party and I knew a local recruiter for the Army who had access to an inflatible obstacle course that I could use for free. He said he would come and man the obstacle course for the evening. It was an all night party. I appreciated his help with keeping my expenses lower and with the course.

    He came in uniform. All the others helping were also dressed in military uniforms or camouflage. Parents were upset that he was there because they thought we were promoting the Army and trying to recruit the kids.

    We were just trying to have some fun and he volunteered to help, more than some of the parents complaining had volunteered to do.

     
  5. The Sidebar Review

    October 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I like to leave little cards on my coworkers’ desks telling them how much I appreciate them, or how much I missed them while they were on vacation. It takes almost no effort on my part and it makes them feel noticed for their hard work or great attitude. Great post, Jeanne!

     
  6. flyinggma

    October 19, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    That’s a great way to show appreciation for your employees. It must make the transition from vacation mindset to work easier knowing you are truly appreciated at work. I’d love to work for a boss like you.

     
  7. nrhatch

    February 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Jeanne ~ Loved this post and the terrific comments. It amazes me some of the things that people find to get worked up about.

    Life is good, but life is short. Bad things happen. Laugh When You Can!

    BTW: If you leave a candy bar on my desk, I will not be offended. 🙂

     
    • nrhatch

      February 3, 2011 at 12:10 am

      I like Take 5 bars ~ and, you’re right, someone would find something in any candy bar name offensive:
      PayDay ~ What? I don’t earn enough? ($10,000 Bar ~ same)
      Almond Joy ~ What? Sometimes I feel like a nut? (Nutty Butty ~ same)

      I love it what I’m talking to one person (in a blog comment) and an overly sensitive narcissist sees the comment and decides that I’m secretly (in code) making fun of them! Wow! Way to make the world revolve around you!

      I only WISH I could multi-task like that! 🙂

       
      • flyinggma

        February 3, 2011 at 8:47 am

        I don’t like to think that hard….especially when it comes to trying to think up ways to find offense.

         
  8. flyinggma

    February 3, 2011 at 12:02 am

    What is your favorite kind? A Snickers is good in my book just about anyday but then someone might take offense because of the name of the candy bar. Perhaps I am secretly making fun of them rather than being kind. Laughter is still my favorite.

     
    • nrhatch

      February 3, 2011 at 12:11 am

      I like Take 5 bars ~ and, you’re right, someone would find something in any candy bar name offensive:
      PayDay ~ What? I don’t earn enough? ($10,000 Bar ~ same)
      Almond Joy ~ What? Sometimes I feel like a nut? (Nutty Butty ~ same)

      I love it what I’m talking to one person (in a blog comment) and an overly sensitive narcissist sees the comment and decides that I’m secretly (in code) making fun of them! Wow! Way to make the world revolve around you!

      I only WISH I could multi-task like that!

      Sorry about the duplicate comment above. Please delete.

       

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