A million things a day could offend me. If I let them. It's funny, really, how much energy people spend just being ticked off or ruffled by somebody else's words or actions. Who has the time?
The author of a very popular blog that I follow announced a few days ago that she would be taking a break from blogging. The post that heralded her hiatus was self-deprecating, all in good humor, proclaiming her need to rejuvenate and find her voice again, and now she is dealing with readers who are calling it quits because they just can't take her. . .her what? Her style? Her 'snarkiness'? Her view of the world? Her self-proclaimed 'professional narcissism?
Who cares, people? What's a blog anyway, if not one's own personal shrine? Get over it.
Some readers protectively responded to the disgruntled comments with things like, "If you don't like what you read, don't read!" That's fine advice, I suppose. But when you really adore someone, can't you just adore all of them? Do you have to go looking for a reason to stop adoring? Is every ounce of you just so adorable?
Wait, is this becoming personal?
But seriously, why can't we all just get along? Let cJane be cJane, for heaven's sakes! She's a pro at it! It's the perfect gig for her! Take it all with a grain of salt and see her soul, that blessed soul. Cut her some slack. She never once claimed to be humble. That's part of her charm!
And the rest of us?
I try very hard to not be offended. I'm quite aware of my own shortcomings. I'm painfully aware of how many times I have said the wrong things, or haven't said the right things. I have to allow others at least the same amount of foibles as I have dancing around me.
I just wish that when I am willing to offer charity and a little lee-way to others, that it could be returned. That the forgiveness I am willing to extend could be thrown in my direction every now and then. That maybe something about me could be adored enough to allow the rest to be endured.
And not just me, but all of us. I'm even talking to myself here. Life is so short, so the cliche goes, and why spend one nanosecond of it all bent out of shape? It's exhausting and debilitating.
I've known people who have chosen to stop coming to church, any church, because they had become offended by something someone did or said. I've known people who have left professions that they loved and felt fulfilled by because of some offense. I've known people who have abandoned long friendships because one day somebody said the wrong thing and that just broke everything. It seems silly to me. Especially when we're all so imperfect and in need of so much forgiveness ourselves.
Not to say that we have to endure prolonged injustice or abuse, but we all know that legitimate injustice is not at the heart of most hearts marinating in seething offense. Most of the time it's silly stuff. Inconsequential stuff. Sometimes we stay offended, forgetting what the original incident even was!
It just feels good to brush it off. Let it go. Forgive. Forget about it.
And it's a choice.