This morning on social media I ran across a couple quotes that really touched my soul.
I have often been accused of "offending" people. I blame it on my brutal honesty, my unwillingness to put up with nonsense, and my belief in not being fake. It has taken years for me to understand that I am not "offending" them, but that they are choosing to be "offended". What helped me to understand this best, was understanding more about how I feel and what the circumstances were when I felt "offended". Because, yes, I have definitely felt "offended".
I own every CD that the band Reliant K has produced. In one of their songs it states, "Opinions are immunity to being told you're wrong." This statement has helped me to better understand how we feel "offended". Most of the times when people feel "offended" it's due to the opinions of others. We are so incredibly blessed to live in a country where we have the liberty to express our opinions. I am constantly finding that the things that people are taking offensive to are simply opinions.
How on earth does that make any sort of logical sense if you really think about it?
I feel like choosing to be "offended" and making it obvious to the world that you feel "offended" is causing people to lose their freedoms. How is taking away the freedom to choose from others a good thing? How can that make someone feel right or justified in their opinions?
I understand that we are an imperfect people, and that there are times when our emotions can just get the best of us (I am CRAZY emotional), but it truly makes no sense to be "offended". Yes, people will say cruel things and try to take away your freedoms by expressing their opinions and people will have different opinions and guess what? THAT'S OKAY!!! That is the beauty of the world that we live in! It's unique and it's freeing and it's a beautiful thing!
We can respond to these "offensive" actions by pushing them aside and focusing on what's more important in our lives. We can ignore those things that "offend" us by holding onto our own beliefs and standing strong in the things that matter the most to us. Despite what social media and reality TV may tell us, someone else's opinions, DO NOT have the power or strength to falter our own convictions. However, you do have the ability to give them that power, and if you do allow them to do so, becoming "offended" is your own fault.
The lack of love that we, as people living on the world, have for one another in this day and age breaks my heart. I believe that choosing to be "offended" has caused that division between us. If we choose to not take "offense" then we have no reason to hate. Of course there will still be people that we just don't get along with or truly cannot stand, but that doesn't mean that you have to hate them.
Can you even imagine a world where we are more understanding, loving and accepting of others opinions, even when they differ from that of our own? I honestly can't imagine it, but I think it would be pretty rad.
I have started to understand my own feelings and emotions better, in a way that allows me to no longer feel "offended". I have found that those times when I use to feel "offended", or thought that I was "offended", I was usually feeling a different emotion but I just didn't understanding how to properly express it.
I have found, since replacing the word "offended" in my vocabulary, that I love more and understand more and am a better person than I use to be and I LOVE THAT!!! There's a fantastic freedom that comes with not allowing yourself to be "offended" and it's a freedom like no other!
People will always have different opinions and feelings and they will choose to express them in ways that you may not be super fond of or that you may not agree with, but that doesn't mean you need to choose to be "offended" by them. Ignore it. What major life change is someone else's opinions truly going to have on your life? If the answer is that the opinions and actions of others will have a huge impact on your life, I may suggest counseling, because you may be watching a little bit too much reality TV (PS - I am OBSESSED with reality TV) and have perhaps lost grasp on true reality.
Let's bring back the Golden Rule. Let's just love everyone and drop the hate that is so obvious and cloudy in our society. Let's think before we act and have a little bit more respect for the opinions and ideas and thoughts and lifestyles that other's may have.
Here is the actual talk from Elder David A. Bednar, that the above quotes came from. It is powerful and strong, moving and smart. Of course, that is my opinion. Hopefully, it doesn't "offend" anyone.