In case you don't wonder, I have in my room a Stars & Bars flag, a State of Georgia Stars & Bars flag, a US flag. I want to get a POW-MIA flag and a Don't Tread on Me flag.
These flags offend people. This makes me happy.
Why? Because if it offends you, then I believe you need to be offended.
Also, I firmly believe that learning how to NOT take offense is a sign of maturity.
If you can't laugh at yourself, call me. I'll be glad to laugh at you.
OFFENDING PEOPLE WORLDWIDE
The right to offend is not universal. In at least one country, offend someone enough and they can legally kill you. Literally. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrsuHtuqJKw
Lemme make this clear. If you offend someone maliciously, you are bordering on harm. You may fall on either side of the dividing line, depending on WHY you are offending someone.
My flags, and the other stuff I do that offends people, is 100 percent without malice. It is never done to harm anyone. This is very important, at least to me.
I tell you true - I have done things to offend people out of spite and with malice. This bothers me a lot. It is not who I want to be. It is usually done as a reaction. It is still wrong.
But the vast majority of the time when I offend someone, no hate is involved.
If the way I live my life does not harm you, it is none of your business. If the way I live my life offends you, you have a personal problem, not me.
Sometimes I intentionally do things that offend people. Not done from hate. I do it to shake them out of their complacency. I want them and you to think. Sometimes the only way to do this is to rattle your cage, hard.
TO OFFEND OR NOT TO OFFEND
Let's be clear. Offending someone is not the same as harming someone.
If your "feelings" are hurt, then you need to take a serious look at why you reacted that way.
If someone you care about hurts your feelings, well that happens. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad.
It is a useful punitive measure. When my kids were little, many times they told me I hurt their feelings. Excellent. I did so because they had done something wrong. Again, this is a good situation.
My kids knew they disappointed me. They reacted.
If your feelings are hurt by someone you do not know and who likely does not know you even exist, then you have a personal problem.
If an institution, not a human being, hurts your feelings, you have a personal problem. If an inanimate object hurts your feelings, you have a severe personal problem.
You deal with it.
YOU AIN'T THE WORLD
Do not assume that because you are offended, your feelings apply to everyone. You ain't the world.
Real life example: I have a double-disc comedy CD. One of the comedians makes a joke about being a rapist. Hilarious.
Some people will be highly offended both by the joke and the fact that I find it funny. Good. I remind you if you are one of the offended, you do not represent everyone.
A lady listening to the CD with me laughed harder than I did at the joke. If anyone had reason to be offended by a rape joke, she does. She is a survivor.
You ain't the world. Do not presume your morals, values and personal code of ethics applies to everyone else.
NO SPECIAL PRIVILEGE
One reason I believe in offending people is because it breaks down barriers. It eliminates privilege. It makes us all equal.
These comedians make fun of their disability. Some people laugh. Some people get offended.
Good on both counts.
If someone without Cerebral Palsy (like me) jokes about it, a whole lot of people will be offended.
You say, "If you had Cerebral Palsy you would ..."
Would what? Understand? Not make jokes about it? Have sympathy?
You say, "Well, yeah. All that."
Really? How do you know what understanding I have? Do you know how much sympathy I have? If all you know about me is through this blog, then how much do you really know?
But is OK for someone with Cerebral Palsy to joke about it? How is that right?
You say, "Because they know what they are going through."
So, we carve out special exceptions and exemptions for them? We put people with Cerebral Palsy into a different class of people? They get a pass others do not?
How can you give one person a pass and not another person. By the "give them a pass" rule, everyone gets a pass for something.
In other words, you truly do not want equality.
Oh segregation, thy name is "I am offended." See also, hypocrisy.
How about we just agree we are all humans? How about we all get over ourselves and quit being offended?