Yesterday I wrote about how sometimes people seem to be reluctant to say things are unjust, so of course today the New York Times would remind me that, on the other hand, we often like to form into large mobs relentlessly pillorying people for saying something we think smacks of injustice: How One stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life
One of my life goals is to be extremely difficult to offend. While I realize I am privileged to live in circumstances where I am rarely putting myself in danger by behaving in this way, I think many people live in similar circumstances but find enjoyment in being offended.
When I read something someone writes or hear something someone says and start to feel offended, I (when I am doing well) try to take a step back and just assume the other person is not striving to cause strive. Maybe there is context that makes the comment not offensive. Or perhaps it is an offensive comment, but they are just not at their best right now and don’t need to be berated.
I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule, but I can’t think of many situations where aggressive anger is a helpful response to an off-handed comment or tone-deaf Facebook post.
image from flickr user Robert Couse-Baker