It seems these days that everyone gets offended by one thing or another. And the rules of the PC game are constantly changing, so how do we keep up?
The truth is, we can’t.
Social media makes things worse, with the ability to send off a rapid-fire response in the heat of the moment, and it isn’t helping matters. Our lack of face-to-face talks, and lack of empathy all contribute to big heaps of confusion.
Is there a solution? Must we censor everything we write/say and live in fear that we might be offending or hurting someone’s feelings?
I’m not speaking about larger issues of racism, sexism, bigotry, etc. That is a whole other conversation.
How can we fully be ourselves in a world where everyone has a cause, and by cause I mean opinion they think needs to be shouted from the social media rooftop? Because that’s the truth. Most of us aren’t actually getting up off our butts for any particular cause. The majority of us will just like, post, or share whatever cause we’re currently “supporting”.
How do we fix this disconnect with our neighbors? How do we better understand each other?
I think the answer is grace.
GIVE PEOPLE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT.
How would you like to be treated in a similar situation? Would you want people to assume you were trying to be hurtful, or would you hope that your friends, family and even strangers would try to hear your heart. I understand that in a lot of situations it’s not possible to have a one-on-one conversation with someone whose opinion differs from your own, but with friends and family, it is absolutely possible.
Will it be easy? No.
Will it be worth it? Almost always, yes.
Growth will happen. Mutual understanding. Even an increase in your love for each other.
So let’s all stop jumping to conclusions.
If someone writes or says something that you find offensive, take a step back and try to see things from their perspective. Where are they coming from? What has their life experience been? What has molded them into the person they have become today? After contemplating and meditating on these questions, then decide if further dialogue with them would be beneficial. And then the hard part…reach out to them.
Face to face is best. Phone is second best, and text/social media should be avoided at all cost.
Let’s work on understanding each other more. This doesn’t mean that you will come to an agreement with them, but maybe just a better understanding of who they are. And in the process, you may learn a few things about yourself. You can agree to disagree and still have love/good vibes for that person.
Go out and love someone today.