Monday, April 9, 2007

And Nothing Shall Offend Them!

Oh I think all of us have a problem with taking things personally, or getting our feelings hurt. It is the nature of this mortal experience. However there are several concepts that I have been contemplating, simply because it has been helpful to me. Especially when I am around so many young adults, young women and women in general. The first one is found in Elder Bednar's talk in October 2006 conference. I would highly encourage all of you to read this talk. "And Nothing Shall Offend Them!" He says "when we believe or say we have been offended, we usually mean we feel insulted, mistreat, snubbed, or disrespected. And certainly clumsy, embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean-spirited things do occur in our interactions with other people that would allow us to take offense. However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else." I simply love this . Because he says to believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon. As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation. This is great counsel!

Now on the other hand, let's be more tactful. That is the other side of the coin, to be aware of others feelings and sensitivities that if we would choose our words carefully and remember to bless others lives through them, we would be far better off as well. This generation has taken a big blow in the sarcasm and disrepect in the media. And believe me when I say the j/k line or the "whatever" line is hurtful to all! We would do well to alleviate those words from our conversations. Those words diminish people. Invalidates or puts down. I just hate what I see on those shows or when in passing by students hearing them speak that way.

Now to finish what Elder Bednar points out is his first invitation is to 1) refuse to take offense. I actually added one thing for me and that was "It mattereth not how I'm received, I'm okay with myself and I know I am a kind person"
2) Go to them and communicate privately, honestly and directly so misperceptions can be clarified and true intent understood.

Excellent advice and loving advice. So I choose not to take offense, until the next time when I'm caught in a moment of weakness and have to work all over again with help from the Man upstairs to overcome the hurt. We all do!

1 comment:

Lara said...

Very excellent musings. goes right along with our YW Lesson today on being a peacemaker. Part of that is learning to not take offense and react defensively.