I’ve been thinking a lot the last couple days about people who have posted on facebook about others being offended by things, by being too sensitive. Of course, being one of those sensitive people, I read those comments directly. It is a hot-button topic for me. I have learned to keep my sensitivities to myself because of hearing comments like this my whole life. It’s no fun being judged for having feelings, for your nature, for who you are inside. It serves to negate ones existence.
I think of saying it to my kids, to any child. “Stop being so sensitive.” And it breaks my heart. But, oh, you may say, they are children, they will learn as they get older, to have thicker skin. They’ll grow out of their childish nature. That right there, is the problem. Squashing the vulnerability out of people pushes compassion underground and leads to more people who cannot handle more gentle temperaments. I could go into my own rant about the nature of our world right now, and how much better it would be if people were a little more aware of this, but that’s another post for another time.
There are so many layers to these kinds of comments. Here they are, saying that people shouldn’t take things so seriously. They are offended by people being offended, and voicing their opinion about it. What they are really saying is, “I want to be offensive (if even subtly), I don’t want have to think about everything I say, and I don’t want you to speak up about it if I’m callous because it makes me feel bad. It makes me look in the mirror.” As if they are somehow threatened by someone who points out, what they feel are, injustices. If not that, why is it so offensive to them? Why do they even care?
They are saying the same thing that the sensitive posters are saying, “I want to be able to speak my mind without someone jumping down my throat and judging me.” I defend a person’s right to say what they want to say, but I am also glad that there are consequences of rebuttal. In my opinion, labelling the consequences of a counter-argument as whining is lazy. It really is the old adage of, you can dish it out but you can’t take it when it comes back your way. It’s pretty much the definition of bullying. I’m stronger and harder, and you’re wimpy and soft, so I’m going to exert my callousness so you shut up.
I just can’t understand. People feel hurt, and you’re telling them not to have feelings. Toughen up. Stop being such a baby. Stop speaking up. The thing is … I think the world needs more sensitive people. For every sensitive person out there, it may be one less person that will judge you, because they experience deeply how that feels. Think about it. More people thinking about how their words and actions affect others. Sure, you may think, where is the fun in that? I won’t be able to say half of the things in my head. Welcome to adulthood. It’s called self-control. Compassion.
Say what you want, but don’t be offended when someone has a differing opinion and wants to voice it as well. Practice what you preach.
Ironic, isn’t it?