“If I am offered a gift and decline to accept it, then to whom does the gift belong?” said Buddha, apparently. His mastery of English not bad, considering the English still spoke Gaelic at that time. Hey-ho.
Nevertheless, he had a point.
Right now (American), the world is full of people ‘being offended’. Note what I wrote – ‘being’ offended. Not ‘taking offence’, which implies they have the opportunity to decline the gift. That might just communicate that the offendee has forgiven the offender. No, the responsibility is seen by some as entirely that of the speaker and, accordingly, whether s/he realised they’d caused offence or not, they are at fault and cannot be forgiven.
We have people ‘being offended’ by things said not about them, or related to them, or even with them in mind, but about ‘others’ on behalf of whom they feel anger.
Well I’m sorry, but I have enough time being angry over my own stuff without being angry on behalf of people I don’t know, have never and will never meet.
I dislike being angry. It’s a negative emotion, it takes ones focus away from truly important stuff and lingers in the psyche long after it mattered, even if it ever did.
But there are people out there who seem to make it their profession to be miffed. They are called, “The Media”. And ‘The Media’ is good at being – or rather seeming – angry. I say that because their public anger so completely hides their absolute glee at announcing something they hope WILL anger people, and thereby sell more papers or advertising space.
I’ve lost count of the times the headline says I am OUTRAGED by something I don’t yet know anything about. I’m bemused when a newspaper so clearly takes sides against someone because the person they ‘prefer’ – and that changes daily – was reportedly bullied by the ‘hated one’, even though there is only the word of one against the other upon which any claim can be based.
That expression. ‘Public Interest’. It’s been bandied about by the press for so long, and only one Judge has said that there is a huge difference between ‘public interest’ and ‘an interested public’. The latter relates to Mrs McDuff who hides behind her net curtains saying, “Ooooh, look what she’s done” about a neighbour. But that is what the press has become.
Why? Probably because they have to compete with t’Internet, and newspapers are always a day late for ‘news’, whereas pontificating and smearing and judging can be done on the spot, and then deleted and omitted in hardcopy. Not forgetting careful use of ‘reportedly’ and ‘allegedly’ and other get-outs which would protect them against libel suits if anyone could actually afford to sue them.
How much time – and emotion – is spent being offended/angered when just letting the matter go would be a more effective and efficient use of our time? Alternatively, how many relationships could be improved by asking, “Have I been offended, or is this a misunderstanding?”, and then actually finding out what did happen, as opposed to what was being reported.
And once you’ve allowed for a system that allows for proper accountability of the authorities to their electorate, how much time and money would be saved by getting rid of the press and their obsession with non-events and non-celebrities.
Makes my bloody blood boil.