Monday, April 27, 2009

The Right Not to be Offended

Please allow me to to introduce the Catbird Seat's Czar for officially sanctioned rants, Little Miss Ashleigh Hayleigh Jordan Madison-Morgan, the pride of Suburbia Majora, and title holder, privilegium de non appellando, of Lil' Miss.Fuss-budget. Ain't she a cutie, and who could ever hope to resist her 139 decibel tantrums? When you see lil' Miss Madison-Morgan, buckle yer' seatbelts.

I don't believe it a stretch to state that most reasonable or polite people make it a point to mind their manners and not purposefully offend other folk. Aside from shock-jocks, MSNBC talking heads, and certain comics, I believe that we don't start out our days trying to see who we offend. This said, we're fallen individuals and part of fallen humanity. We can be quite the master at stuffing our feet in our mouths. We sincerely apologize and go on with our lives. This has been the way of human interaction for the better part of time. But, has something changed?

As we've devolved over the past 40 years, there has been a howling Greek chorus whose mission in life seems to be pointing out slights and offenses. Let's look at this for a moment. Fatwa's are issued over cartoons or novels. Tantrums or Hissey fits are thrown over a contestant's answer. An entire social order is thrown down because a couple wishes to consummate the counter-biological. A university President looses his position over a purely objective observation. And of course, my favorite, the atheist whose panties are in a bunch over an entity they presume to be nonexistent (Hmmmmm...)

As citizens of the greatest nation in human history (sorry Barry, you're wrong! We ARE the greatest) men and women bled and/or died to acquire or defend many basic rights that we take for granted. The Constitution and her Bill of Rights provide a bulwark of rights designed to confirm and defend THE CITIZEN's cardinal rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Nowhere in these documents are found the "The Right" not to have the thin skin on our anemic pasty bottoms bruised. Check it, it just isn't there!

Someone more clever than I once noted that there was a time when "Americans were known for their tender hearts and tough hides. It seems that lately, we've gotten this backwards." A quick visit to will vindicate the folk philosopher who made the observation.

So, what to do? I recommend the 4G approach.

Grow up! The world is not fair and life is not fair. Its fallen, imperfect and unpredictable. Screaming like little Miss Madison-Morgan won't change human nature. Whingeing may bring temporary relief to our petty, diaphanous little egos, it'll do little else besides making us insufferable to others.

Get over it! You're be offended on any given day. It matter little who the offender is. It could be a bunch of hypocephalics in Skokie, IL marching in Nazi uniforms or a contestant in a beauty pageant. Stop being a simpering little me-monkey and let go of your indignation, real or otherwise.

Get on with it! Our 70 to 80 years on this planet is far to short to be spent shaking our grubby little fists at any or everyone who bruises our little ego.

Grow through it! Maybe, just maybe someone (Human or Divine) maybe speaking through the situation in order to get our stunted attention. Hey, it already been done, just ask Balaam.

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