Monday, August 17, 2015

Everyone’s Offended by Linda S. Glaz

We’re all offended by something: flags, movies, religion, the government, quotes, books, attitudes. Something! And we all want the entire world to know about it. One man posted that he’s offended by everybody being offended. 
There’s no exit ramp for this mentality.
And there’s no reality in it, either.
We used to fight it out, debate it, talk it out, you name it. But we had our say and moved on. We returned to our lives, but today, we have this lovely tool at our disposal that dissects more accurately than a scalpel. It’s called social media. And like an octopus, it reaches out with its venomous tentacles and touches as many lives as it can, paralyzing and devouring as it crawls along.
It’s a new kind of hatred. A special kind of hatred because it comes with an attitude of entitlement. “I’m anonymous on the other end of this note and therefore I can say or do anything that I choose without consequences.” No need to gather opinions, truths of any kind, or even another person’s side of the story. Why? “Because I’m entitled to say anything that I choose. And you can’t stop me.”
Years ago, or what now seems to be centuries to old coots like me, we found out we were wrong, and rather than digging in deeper, we used two words: “I’m sorry.”
Not quite as sensational as taking a stronger stand and driving the scalpel in deeper, but it had value. It showed our humanness. Our ability to forgive and move on. To see the other person’s side of things. It stopped the offense and humbled both the offender and the offended. It gave us a starting and stopping point.
My kids laughed at me when I fought computers in our home what seems like forever ago. I said I felt as if it were the artificial creation of real life. Not sure that I’ve changed my mind all that much. I see its potential, but what was meant for good may not be all that good after all. It has become another tool to hurt each other. To have our “say” without consequences. To be offended as often as we like and to gather our chicks with similar opinions under our wings until we all peck and torture anyone with a differing opinion.
Social media has the ability to put out erroneous information, quotes, comments and call them all truth. Truth?
If you’re offended by this post, too bad. Take an aspirin and comment in the morning. But don’t change my words and assume that you know me by one blog post. You don’t. Only those who go past the internet and know me personally will ever understand my intentions and my truths.
Have wonderful day and try not to be offended! J


Tom Threadgill said...

Yep. Used to be people could disagree with each other without being "bigoted" or "mean-spirited" or any other name. Just grow up, people.

I mean, my neighbors are even offended when I go outside in just my boxers. That's why you have curtains, folks.

Oh, and excellent use of the octopus analogy. Way to show instead of telling!

Rick Barry said...

Like any tool, the Internet has its pluses and minuses. You hit a bull's eye with your mention of anonymity. I'm convinced that most of the acidic remarks made anonymously online would never be made face to face. When talking face to face, there's at least a tad more civility despite disagreements. It also seems that a certain segment of the population is searching for reasons to be offended. Perhaps there is a psychological reward for feeling offended by something, anything?

Linda Glaz said...

Oh, my. Gouge my eyes out, Tom. LOL But in a sense, that analogy is spot on. If we don't like something, close our eyes, our ears, our thoughts. Just don't partake of something if it offends us. And you're right. Any time someone is offended, the other person becomes an instant hater of some sort.

Linda Glaz said...

Rick, I'm afraid a lot of it comes from a generation of entitlement. Some friends are seeing it on college campuses. Students who feel they are entitled to grades, instant grat, instant everything and always their way. If they don't get it, someone must hate them or what they stand for. Really sad times...

Elaine Stock said...

Wonderful words, Linda. I think you're spot on correct when you emphasized "entitlement." I am amazed (to the point that I have to stop my mouth from dropping open) how many people I daily encounter who insist that they are "owed" something. Then, as you say, they board the rocket of social media and implode to glorify only themselves… one wannabe commenter on my blog last evening attempted to call me a bigot, but mercifully I rejected that comment rather than post it… guess that's the flip side of social media: choosing whether or not to be bothered and wounded by another person. So sure, Mighty Mouth may have something to share worldwide (at least they can hope), and on an anonymous basis, but we have the potential to delete it, and certainly not bother to read it and react to it. It is up to each one of us to choose not to spread this hatred.

The bottom line: it's very, very sad and tragic that one human being has to put down another. Wars start and perpetuate that way. Horrifyingly, annihilation of human beings by human beings happen this way as well.

When will the madness stop?

We know that answer. And why!

Linda Glaz said...

It is sad, Elaine. Especially when the media could be used to start dialogue that would empower all concerned. Opening the door to discussion is such an important tool, but it IS being used for evil rather than good.

Pegg Thomas said...

The word "hate" is overused, misused, and wielded as a weapon to silence the opposition. Every disagreement is not hate. In fact, most aren't. People need to get a grip on reality. Tolerance seems to be preached - but not practiced - by those most often offended. Be offended if you want, but I don't have to play in that sandbox.

Linda Glaz said...

I like that, Pegg. I don't have to play in that sandbox OR leave any doo-doo behind!

Janet Grunst said...

Anonymity encourages folks to rant without having to back up their comments.No accountability. The really negative, and sometimes crude remarks, speak more about the commentator than the one they are putting down. Like so many other things in our lives, what God can use for good, the enemy uses for evil.

Sadie and Sophie said...

Well said, as usual, and totally inoffensive. When did we become such a thin-skinned society that everything offends? It's gotten to the point that having an opinion is instant cause for retaliation or worse. A dear friend reminded me once, "Say what you mean; mean what you say; just don't say it mean."

Linda Glaz said...

You're right, Janet. Things said that we would otherwise never think of saying.

Linda Glaz said...

Great way to put it, ladies, we ARE thin-skinned. We can't take anyone else's opinion and accept that it is just that, their opinion.

Karla Akins said...

My thoughts here are in regard to how we should respond to the haters and those offended by anything we say or write.

Lately I've been thinking about not only how I'm to act like Jesus but how I'm to REACT like Him. I think our Christian influence is most effective through how we react to those who are offended by God's Word, His stories, His Truth.

Jesus came not to bring peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34; Luke 12:51). The Word of God is just as divisive today as it's ever been, if not more. We should expect it. We should expect, as Christian writers, to have readers react defensively because they are blind and the only weapons they have at their disposal are lies and hate.

It's not people we are up against, but the spiritual forces at work in people's lives.

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).

Jesus died for the every same people who hate us for our Christian message. As His followers, We are called to be compassionate and prayerful in our response. I find that taking the high road can be lonely. The flesh would rather put up its dukes and tussle, but I've never regretted using a soft answer (I have regretted times when I didn't).

I love this Proverb for helping me to react like Jesus to those Who attack me for my faith or writing or ministry:

Proverbs 25:11-13; 15 --
11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver
is a ruling rightly given.
12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.
13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
he refreshes the spirit of his master...
15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

In John 16:33 Jesus said: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Oh to keep our eyes on Jesus and ignore the storm. If we can train ourselves to do that, we won't be offended by those who lash out at us in their blind ignorance. As for me, I'm not there yet. But I long to be.

One of the enemy's tricks is distraction. It thrills him to keep our eyes on our situations and not on the Lord. We are only human, and it's simply not possible to react in a Christ-like way without the help of the Holy Spirit. This is not something He expects us to do on our own. We must draw on Him to walk in love towards our enemy.

"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41).

I believe we need more than ever to be in the prayer closet in order to have the mental and physical strength to respond to this world the way Christ would.

I keep thinking about the image of David over a sleeping Saul. In David's righteous mercy he did not destroy the very one who was so hateful to him. He could have. But he didn't (1 Samuel 24 & 26).

Grace is a beautiful tool in the hand of the Christian. I pray I remember to pick it up and use it as the days grow darker.

Linda Glaz said...

Great response, Karla. I, too, wish I were "there" so to speak. It's a daily struggle.

Deborah Dee Harper said...

Linda, great, thought-provoking post (and not offensive in the least). Social media has morphed into a place to spew hatred and stir the pot of insensitivity and bigotry. Of course we have differences in opinion! If not, we'd be just a bunch of humans with different faces--all thinking, speaking, and hearing the same things. Instead of 1.) listening to, 2.) ignoring, or 3.) responding with kindness to offensive comments, we whip out the "hate" accusation as if our opinion is the only one worth having. Oftentimes, responding to a nasty message with kindness is more aggravating to a hate-monger because they WANT an argument. Let's not give it to them. Let's react as Christ would. Thanks for bringing this to light so we could have a civilized, thoughtful conversation about it among your readers. Good job, my friend :-)

Linda Glaz said...

Good points, Deb. Yes, we'd be like zombies just going through the motions, or without our own opinions, we'd be like the Stepford Wives, merely doing and saying what someone else expects of us. Good point...

Donn Taylor said...

All good points about social media. Like any tool, these media can be used for good or evil. At a deeper level, though, the conflicts on social media are a product of our national culture, which is formed by cultural and political leaders who, for their own purposes, promote divisions among the public. If they can keep us fighting among ourselves, we'll be too preoccupied to see what they are doing.

Linda Glaz said...

Really good point, Donn, and so true. Keeps us from looking at the bigger issues.

J'nell Ciesielski said...

The internet is a wonderful tool and hammer of the devil all at the same time. Suddenly, everyone has an opinion that they think is worth sharing with the rest of the world and no one can stop them. Entitlement. The younger generations seethe with it kinda like my two-year old. Maybe they all just need a good spanking and we can all move on to more important things. Oh wait, does the concept of spanking offend them too? Oh, dear.

Linda Glaz said...

Yeah, pretty sure spanking is outside boundaries nowadays. LOL

Karen Prough said...

My first thoughts are about the title of your blog, "Everyone's Offended by Linda S. Glaz". :) I'm not offended, so it isn't true! You can't say EVERYONE is offended by your heartfelt thoughts and words. Now, I could rant and rave about your statement and say it isn't the truth, but I will go in another direction. In today's society, people think they are in touch with everyone on all the social "spider webs". They do touch others and can hurt others, but the pain does not ripple back to them. There's a barrier to hide behind. Words hurt and the act of putting cutting things in print on the internet keeps hatred floating before a sea of readers. But I think it shows what type of person they are deep inside. It also gives decent people a "voice", because sometimes they aren't noticed.

Karen Prough said...

Ohh, no. I guess I just lost the comment I wrote! It was so good! Let me see if I can recall parts of it. First thing I said was that I DID NOT agree with the title of your blog. "Everyone's Offended by Linda S. Glaz". I'm not offended by you, so it is not true! I could make a big deal about that, but I won't. Now, with that settled,let me try to remember what I wrote. It was something like ... in today's world, people can hide on the internet and say nasty things to hurt others. They figure no one can touch them. It's a form of abuse. But untrue things that are written can usually be figured out by decent people or those who want to check things out for themselves. And sometimes when "mud-slinging" happens, the truth and the message spreads wider than it would have ... had things been "nice". That's kinda what I said, but I think it was better the first time I typed it. (Sigh) And maybe it'll show up after I post this! Ha.

Linda Glaz said...

I'll be the first to admit that there ARE things that offend me. I'm not sure anyone can say they have nothing that offends them, but maybe it's just me. When I see an animal being brutalized, I'm offended. If I see a child left in a hot car, I'm offended. Many things offend me, but I hope I won't (as in the past) unleash my offenses against people on social media. God has clearly taught me a lesson is trying to take the kinder route. Hopefully, I will, but I AM offended by things. What I had to learn was how to react to those offenses.

Karen Prough said...

Yep, it showed up. Where was it to begin with? Please, ignore me. Ha. I almost had it written the same. (My face is red.) Okay, you all can attack me for "rambling". I'm going to go hide under a rock.