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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Offending just a part of life

    “”Don’t be a crybaby.””

    More than likely, this order only made our childhood selves sob harder. Of the many commands we followed in kindergarten, this is the most valuable to continue living by, at least when someone hurts our feelings. Though our memories of coloring inside the lines and scheduled nap time have faded, we can still benefit from this instruction of not letting the little things that people say get to us, especially in a society where everyone gets offended by absolutely everything.

    Some have mastered this so well that they could probably teach specialized drama classes for actors who want to learn how to get worked up and hysterical.

    While it’s perfectly acceptable to get emotional, it’s unnecessary to look for reasons to feel this way. With the dangerous and unnatural amount of stress we put on ourselves, we need to eliminate some of our superfluous anxieties.

    As students, we need to worry about school above all else. The first concern we should purge

    from our lives is the anxiety of offending someone.

    One of the most unconstructive, pointless feelings is to worry, particularly with regard to the way

    others perceive us. We can only change and control ourselves, so there’s no need to agonize over the opinion of others.

    Moreover, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for offending another person, especially if we do so unintentionally. Everyone is constantly walking on egg shells and drowning in guilt for accidentally saying something that may be construed as offensive or maybe even a little politically incorrect.

    Instead of accepting the comment as a slip or mistake, auditors dwell on the speaker’s “”insensitivity,”” label him and suggest he enroll in some sort of sociology class. Talk about blowing things out of proportion, not to mention being offensive in unfairly accusing others of their supposed “”offense.””

    It’s easy to allow our feelings to get hurt, but it’s shockingly easier to just let the emotion go completely. If someone doesn’t like you and you’ve done nothing wrong, the problem can almost always be traced back to that person’s own inner turmoil, so why invest so much energy into feeling insulted? It takes effort to get upset at someone for being disrespectful, and with all that we have on our plates, we don’t actually have time to pick up the extra work.

    According to Dr. H. Robert Silverstein of the Preventive Medicine Center, negative emotions such as anger, hostility and stress weaken our immune systems, therefore we choose to jeopardize our health when we stay mad at someone who has offended us.

    Though this leaves us with our pride, we’re damaging our bodies because of what someone has said to us. Is self-righteousness really worth sacrificing our health?

    Thankfully, there are a select few that recognize the absurdity and silliness behind getting offended. Christian Lander’s popular satirical blog, Stuff White People Like, lists hundreds of stereotypical characteristics and mannerisms, one of which is “”being offended,”” Lander wrote in entry No. 101.

    “”It is also valuable to know that white people spend a significant portion of their time preparing for the moment when they will be offended. They read magazines, books, and watch documentaries all in hopes that one day they will encounter a person who will say something offensive.””

    We’ve all seen this happen before. As for those who wait around for that defining moment – will you

    really feel like a more socially evolved, humane and civilized person for taking out your frustrations on your offender?

    Perhaps some of you experience an ego boost after telling off someone who has angered you, but you’re the one who called him immature names and got upset. It’s unbecoming, so liberate yourself of offense taken and quit berating the person who upset you.


    – Laura Donovan is a creative writing junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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