That’s a word invented by Burke Breathed the creator of Bloom County. Some people are just super easy to offend. They’re just looking to be offended. They are also usually extremely clueless and lacking self-awareness. They have a great deal of offensensitivity and excel in looking for and finding offense in almost everyone and everything they encounter. These individuals often post quotes and memes that are designed to show that they “know” what is going on in the world. They are aware and are on to the rest of us. They’re not going to be fooled. What they fail to recognize is that they may in fact be describing themselves and their refusal to see any other arguments. One of my FB friends, who also happens to be an old high school friend, posted a quote/meme from George Orwell:
The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.
I know the political leanings of this friend so I know that this was meant to be a dig at Trump and Republicans. I pointed out that perhaps they should consider that they are the ones hating those who speak the truth, rather than those speaking the truth. Of course, I immediately got challenged. Surprisingly for me, I remained calm and simply pointed out that perhaps they were the ones not listening. I was told that was not possible because “everyone knows” that Trump never speaks the truth. Ah. OK, then.
Stupidly perhaps, I then said, well, being trained in counter-factuals or what-ifs, I was simply pointing out the danger of assuming that you are not the one doing the hating of truth tellers. I’m now being challenged with the usual “well, I guess I’m just stupid, so please, do enlighten me, I’m not trained” extremely sarcastic and over the top language designed to goad. I’ve decided not to respond since seriously, if you can’t figure out what is meant by a “what-if scenario” then you really are refusing to listen, and yes you are the one doing the hating.
I have become so much better over the last few years at ignoring the inflammatory on FB, but sometimes it’s so over-the-top that I simply can’t help myself. I need to quit doing that. It’s not that I’m afraid to lose friends (I haven’t seen most of thees folks in decades and got along fine before they reentered my life via FB.). It’s that I simply don’t want to expend the energy engaged in all things political. I need to spend energy on school/work stuff and I want to spend energy on writing. Getting caught up in ridiculous arguments on social media is simply a colossal waste of time. Nobody really wants to engage in any type of discussion, they simply want to inform you of how stupid and unenlightened you are. Clearly, I know this and yet I still manage to ignore that small voice in my head that says, no let it go, and engage. I gotta figure out a way to make that voice louder.
So, in the end, I will not be returning to that thread. Let them think I don’t have an answer, let my former high school friend unfriend me. It’s immaterial at this point. I’m gong to continue to post those things I find to be interesting or funny or poignant and that’s the end of that.
Pretty good self-assessment if I do say so myself (see what I did there? didja? Huh? Huh?) Anyway, paying attention to what I tell myself and avoiding self-induced stress (arguing with people on FB is the definition of self-induced stress!) will lead to a happier, healthier me.
So, go figure out what you want to spend energy on. Make sure it’s something that makes you happy and not stressed out. My totally obvious words of wisdom for this week.