Are you offended? I am. – G.B.

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I sat here today, in front of my laptop with an ice-cold beer and a bowl of pasta. After a long week with busy schedules and various things plaguing my mind, I couldn’t think of anything better than this to relax. But still…. I couldn’t find that elusive peace of mind I have been craving. I perused the news and realised I have been wanting to vent on a certain topic for a while and put pen to paper (metaphorically as I am a digital millennial and typing this out). Voila! I finally found the mechanism to do so through Ygrids, so thanks to them.


As a quick and dirty introduction, I am Australian and quite a direct person. To the strangers out there this would indicate to you that I am both a relaxed person and ‘to the point’ in life. This assumption would be accurate and will guide my ramblings. As a born and bred Australian we are continually told we are special, intelligent, at the forefront of innovation and able to be whoever we want to be in life. This development really mirrors the values espoused by the Government:

  • Respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual, freedom of religion and commitment to the rule of law.
  • Equality of opportunity for individuals, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background.

And added to this there is an implied freedom of speech which is ruled as an indispensable part of the Government and Constitution. These three attributes combined have helped me and many others become the self-driven, liberal and respectful individuals we are today.

However, I now dive into my pain I mentioned beforehand….. Reading the news this week I saw 5 articles based on people being “offended” in one way or another. One of these was about people being offended by a reading performed in a church about gay rights. Were these individuals’ religious people? No. So why did it impact their lives? I don’t know, I suppose they had a free lunch break and were bored and maybe wanted to show everyone that their opinions mattered. In this article, they explained there were also people who were offended by the people who were outspokenly offended by the priest’s remarks…. I ask myself – how on earth did we let this get this far?

Just take one scroll through your facebook or twitter and look to the flocks of individuals and groups espousing their anger at another’s remarks.

People feeling absolutely vilified about the musings of others, even when it has no direct impact on their lives. I feel I see this on a daily basis and this espoused ‘offence’ makes these individuals feel like they have certain rights to whinge for no other reason than to be heard. This has no purpose and has no reason to be acknowledged. It is actually counterproductive to anything….

Have we, the first world, been able to evolve sociologically and emotionally this far that we now have nothing else to whinge about? We have our homes, we have our food, we have our jobs, however, it seems that isn’t enough. It only takes one trip overseas to lesser well off nations to realise there is little to no offence there. People are worried about their next meals and concerned for their community, compared to us who are concerned that someone on the internet or a comedian at a show has hurt our emotions with their own rights to free speech.

This offence culture coupled with the increasing trend of patriotism, nationalism and protectionism is aiming at decoupling the very fabric of society today

Take one look at the EU, a once mighty vessel of cooperation and coordination that is now shaky post-Brexit. Take a look at the US post-Trump, with his disgusting anti-Muslim and anti-immigration agenda. Also sadly as I admit, look at Australia and its longstanding refusal to take in refugees and the build-up of racism despite our so-called “respect for all cultures”.

It is in these tough times, that we need to lose the offence culture and spend our waking hours dedicated to building relationships, helping others, paving our own paths and continuing a better path of sociological and emotional evolution. The world will only be a better place when it is open, people are friendly and proactive. The people sitting on the couch receiving income support from the government who are at the same time tweeting “refugees are taking our jobs” are the ones fuelling this offence culture and nationalistic patterns seen throughout the world.

I would rather a Mosque built next to my house and prefer neighbours of any race who don’t care about what others think of them compared to those individuals on the couch. Trump can build his wall, but millions of the proactive and global citizens will be the ones to tear it down. The ones who aren’t offended and passive, the ones who are proactive and fight their stance will be the people to prevail.

I ask myself and readers – what ever happened to “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can’t hurt me?”

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