The cardinal virtue that a person can attain in 2014 is “being offended”. A quick glance at any social media site will reveal floods of “offended” posts.
“I can’t believe that we have soldiers in Iraq!”
“How dare we refuse to send more soldiers to Iraq!”
“Join me in boycotting this restaurant that serves….”
“Read this to see what that candidate thinks about you and your grandmother!”
It doesn’t seem to matter what the issue is that offends you, just so long as you are offended. We lie in wait like crocodiles watching for a celebrity to get a D.U.I., say something stupid, or hit their spouse and then we attack! Never mind that the very real issues of alcohol abuse, personal responsibility, and spousal abuse have been significant and serious issues for many, many years, we are outraged now! We want people to pay! We will never get over this, well until someone else does something wrong…
There’s nothing wrong with having strong opinions about what you feel may be right or wrong. It’s just that venting moral outrage over social media or in our cubicles at work has only short-term if any impact at all. There are serious issues out there in the world that need to be addressed. Verbal attacks do little to address them, and often times simply allow us to avoid taking action in a meaningful way. If you are tired of being offended and ready to make a difference, here are some things to think about:
Start Being Specific
There are thousands of worthy issues to be addressed, and you can’t address them all. You can probably hate them all on Facebook through pithy put-downs and determined diatribes, but that doesn’t solve anything. Find an issue that touches your heart and research that issue. These questions may help: Who is being hurt? What attempts are being made to help them? What will happen if this issue isn’t addressed?
Once you’ve researched the issue you care about, get involved. Take action and make a difference. Spend your minutes and money making someone’s life better. There may be organizations that are already established to help with the issue at hand. If so, find a way to join up and help. It may be that a smaller scale intervention would be best. Battling cancer by donating to cancer research is great, but so is visiting your neighbor who is having chemo and in need of company.
Please talk to people about the issue that you are passionate about, but don’t get upset if they are not as passionate as you are. It doesn’t mean that they are a bad person or that they don’t care. There are so many issues that need attention, so it' s probably best that we all have difference passions. Leave other people alone, and focus on the difference that you can make!
Our world needs you and the difference you can make. I hope that you find an issue that care about, and that your effort changes the world for someone in need!
Photo Courtesy of Death To Stock Photo