Options other than Offended? Please!

If you’re on the more “mature side” you may remember Popeye and his famous fighting words, “I’ve stood all I can stands and I can’t stands no more.”

I’m with you Popeye!

I’m done with this three ring circus of a Presidential election. It’s been so hard not to post a blog or two.  I’ve even tried to stop remarking on Facebook but people make that so dang difficult.

Remember Psalm 149:3? “O Lord, place a guard on my mouth! Protect the opening of my lips!”  Yeah…I have that memorized.

It’s not that I don’t think I have valid thoughts.  I do.    I even think they’re balanced and encouraging no matter who you are or what side you fall on.  The problem is – people don’t want to hear anything that doesn’t agree with their thoughts.  Does the dumbing down of America sound appropriate right about now? Yep,  no one wants to think, reason or debate.  They just want to throw stones, hate on people, have a hissy fit like a two-year-old and just, generally, find any flippin’ thing they can find to be offended about.

When did we become a nation of weak, whiney, butt-hurt babies?  It’s embarrassing and terrifying really.  Personally, I think all the grown adults in this country should get a life and stop being so offended by everything that comes out of someone else’s mouth.

My husband is keeping up with all the controversies swirling around the election and the Olympics.  Every time he starts to read another article I find myself rolling my eyes and tuning him out because “I can’t stands no more!”  Just to remind you of what I’m talking about, I’ll list a few.

  1. Adoptive parents threw a fit when an announcer twitted that Simone Bile’s grandparents weren’t her parents.
  2. Republicans threw a fit because Hillary Clinton congratulated fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad but not air rifle gold medal winner Ginny Thrasher.
  3. Gun control activists blast Ginny Thrasher and America for winning at air rifle.
  4. African American announcers belittle the medals won by Michael Phelps because his sport is an “elite sport” that most African Americans don’t participate in.
  5. Trump and his supporters attack Ghazala Khan for not speaking at the Democratic convention.
  6. Students were offended by a restaurant called “Illegal Pete’s”, the American flag, Trump supporters, the quality of ethnic food such as General Tso’s chicken because it was culturally insensitive (yes, seriously, look it up), classmates who disagreed with them, and the mention of God. (Among a long list of other things because, apparently, our college students are the most offended of all.  Thank you mommies and daddies that never taught the lesson that the world doesn’t revolve around their little opinions. And yes, I realize that offends you.)

The list could go on and on.  But here’s a thought that might cause some people to scratch their heads.  You don’t have to be offended by everything that someone else thinks, does or says.

Hmmmm.  Imagine that.

Let’s see how that might play out.

  1. Choose a more positive tone such as “I’m so blessed to know the love of being an adoptive parent and that my child only sees me as mom.” Or simply realize that the guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about and ignore him.
  2. Realize that Hillary hasn’t congratulated every athlete and, like it or not, both candidates are strategically saying things for their campaign. BOTH OF THEM.  Allow Ibtihaj the joy of her medal and just chill.
  3. Again, CHILL. She won a freakin’ gold medal and deserves to enjoy it. Air rifle is not a reflection of gun violence or lack of gun control. It’s just a target sport just like archery.
  4. Once again…. it’s a gold medal.  Some respect please? But are we saying that a sport only counts if everyone can do it?  Gymnastics is difficult to compete in at a high level because of the availability and cost of coaching but is anyone going to complain about that now that Simon Bile’s has schooled the world? Let’s not forget about Sailing, BMX, Archery, Horse Back Riding and any of the winter sports that people in Texas can’t train for.
  5. Who has the right to judge the way any grieving parent acts? I can tell you that my Southern Baptist mother, if put in that situation, wouldn’t have said a word.  She just wouldn’t be able to.  Right or wrong, based on their faith or not, can’t we stop putting our assumptions and judgments on people and let them be who they are even if it’s different?
  6. This one dumbfounds me.  Basically,  the better option is to grow up and stop acting like a spoiled brat. You will never find a time or place in life when everything is easy and comfortable, nor should you want to.  Contrary to what our culture may have told you,  being  comfortable doesn’t help you to grow and mature. So when people disagree with you or you find something not to your liking,  deal with why but don’t fault those that don’t agree with you.  They have as much a right to their opinion as you do.  The truth is,  they are doing you a favor by bringing to your attention the fact that you are going to be slammed in the face by life if you don’t learn to deal with adversity and disagreements in a more productive way.

Those are just a few examples and the fact that I’ve remarked on them my sound like I’m offended but that’s not how I feel.   I feel worried, not offended.  A society that can’t communicate, dialogue and allow for differences is doomed in my view.  How quickly we have divided ourselves and allowed those divisions to make us angry at one another.  The thought of disagreeing about something, debating the issue and then allowing people to have their opinions without placing moral judgments about that person on those opinions is a foreign concept.  I’m praying that the extreme nature of where we are will shock the majority of us into reacting differently.  Can we stop allowing the media to push our buttons and start telling them where to go with their trash?   Can we start actively trying to have dialogue with those we’ve come to hate and build some bridges of understanding?  Can we find the humanity in our hearts and start to base our words and reactions on that?

That would be such a refreshing change and a beautiful world to live in.  Don’t you think?


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