Oh, my goodness! I have never seen such a widespread epidemic of offended people in all of my (brief) life! There are so many people behaving like 2 year old children in their perpetually offended state of being, yet masquerading around in big people bodies. Offense, offense, offense prevails among us at the slightest sneeze of a difference of an idea, opinion, belief, or action.
Sadly, a sneeze doesn’t even address the BIG differences of ideas, opinions, beliefs, or actions among us. Brother (or sister), I’m simply referring to the dry sneezes of life – where there are simply the slightest differences in an idea, opinion, belief, or action.
What happened to the elementary concept of everyone learning, applying, and respecting the proper truths about playing nice in the sandbox?
Getting Over Selfishness
Even in the presence of a lot of self-willed behaviors, every Pre-K and Kindergarten student learns the rudimentary truths about getting over oneself and getting along with others in the sandbox! In reality, the root motivation for the adults, who are in charge of the sandbox, is all about maintaining order and decency, right? Furthermore, isn’t part of the Pre-K sandbox experience really all about learning the fundamentals of successfully interacting with others in big people life?
After all, the “getting over oneself” and the “getting along with others” lessons-of-life do not dictate that I must like everyone. As a matter of fact, I don’t even have to like everything that others say, do, or don’t do. Nevertheless, the core idea is that (as a kid in the sandbox) I was not allowed to just act like an unruly 2 year old – pitching a fit all over everyone else in the sandbox! At least not without experiencing some unpleasant consequences to my backside, right?
So what happened to the interactions among people in this world between my kindergarten years and now? When did it become socially acceptable for big people to revert to behaving like an unruly pack of 2 year olds? Geezzz, when did it become so socially acceptable for big people to pitch a fit all over everyone else in the world at the slightest sneeze of differences?
The Meaning of this Sneeze of a Difference is called: Offense
Let’s be clear here: getting over oneself and getting along with others is the opposite of being easily offended.
The root word for our commonly used English word, “Offense” is skandalon. Yes, that’s right, it’s associated with the word “scandal.”
Here you go: the dictionary facts about what this epidemic offense-thing really means:
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skandalon: a stick for bait (of a trap), generally a snare; a stumbling block; an offense.
4625 skándalon – properly, the trigger of a trap (the mechanism closing a trap down on the unsuspecting victim); (figuratively) an offense, putting a negative cause-and-effect relationship into motion.
Original Word: σκάνδαλον, ου, τό
Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter
Phonetic Spelling: (skan’-dal-on)
Definition: a snare, stumbling-block, [the] cause for error. 1
Now, just apply these literal definitions while thinking about the swirling scandals in our present world. How many of these swirling scandals are related to so many people being woefully offended by the slightest dry sneeze of differences!
Is the light bulb beginning to come on in your brain about this nonsense of epidemic offenses?
Is It All Really an Excuse for Self-Focus and Self-Will?
When I am so easily offended by “whatever”, I am really allowing myself to be an unsuspecting victim of a trap that is intended to snare me, thus becoming a stumbling block to me. Wow! While I might sincerely believe that my way is the best way (thus I am willing to fight and argue for it), in reality I am stepping into a baited trap. That trap will snare me from the peace, joy, and ultimate influence that I could have if I loosened my grip on my self-focus and self-will.
What if I considered the best interests of others first, before my own interests?
What if I sought to understand the perspective of others first, before seeking to be understood?
What if I allowed others to simply have their way in a matter because the outcomes do not have eternal impacts?
What if I carefully and wisely chose my battles, or my scandals, per se?
Playing the Offended One is Akin to Playing the Victim
The alternative to these “what if’s” is to live in a perpetually offended state, thus continually playing the victim of offense. That victim-position has never really worked long-term for me in getting what I wanted. Furthermore, it has never really increased my influence in life, love, and relationships. So, I just had to decide to stop it!
Besides, everyone I know is really exhausted with the pitifulness and chaos the offended victims of life are creating. It’s an unappealing position to be in!
In reality, I have discovered that there is a better way to express my feelings and needs – and to actually have a reasonable opportunity at prevailing. It’s called healthy, respectful, and effective communications.
Along with this amazing life approach, there is the built-in fact of life that none of us ever get our way all of the time. Accept it; it’s the for-real life truth of healthy living. But each of us can prevail in expressing our thoughts and feelings through effective communications, regardless of whether everything goes our way every time. Through it all, we can be satisfied and fulfilled in simply knowing we’ve been heard, regardless of the outcome.
Just Grow Up, Like Now!
So, where do I go to report all of these unruly 2 year old behaving people, who are in big people bodies? Well, I have not found that place, nor that person. But, I have found a place of peace apart from the traps and snares of offense.
That place is an entire universe in my thoughts and feelings where I can let go of my will and my way, and simply rest in the truth that everyone does not have to agree with me. I can do everything I CAN do, with everything I DO have – and be satisfied (just for today) in letting go of my expectations. Those disappointed expectations are usually related to everything I CANNOT do, because of everything I DO NOT have – and of course, everyONE who will not let me have my way.
Ahhh, maybe the whole “my will, my way” thing is snared and trapped in my own expectations of others and of situations in life. Could it be that I don’t have to become ensnared in the baited trap of scandals that surround all of the big people in the world today?
What if I exercise my choice to play nice in the sandbox of life by simply being a little more selfless, and having less expectations of others and of life situations? Hmmm, I think I will try that approach – thus refusing to bite the bait of perpetual scandals – of choosing to NOT be forever offended.
1 Bible Hub. 2016. Scandalan. Retrived 2016-8-2 from: http://biblehub.com/greek/4625.htm
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