We live in a hyper-politically-correct world where huge pandemics of overly sensitive people are being offended left, right and center.
Yet this 21 year old woman, Lauren, is not one of them. Last year she lost her arm in a Moped accident and has since learned to use humor to help her cope. In a drunken, late-night moment updating her Tinder profile, she wrote that her occupation is an “arms dealer” and that she is “hands down the best catch on Tinder”.
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She awoke the next morning to it going viral. In an interview with Buzzfeed, she stated that: “I got home pretty drunk, and I don’t remember typing it up really … I just woke up to someone DM’ing me a Reddit post asking if it was me, and I was like damn, I guess it is.”
However, she wasn’t always so accepting of the humor. In the same interview she explains: “For a while, I wasn’t okay with the jokes … But then I started telling the jokes, and it’s kind of helped.”
There is a lesson to be learned here for society at large. Humor is good for us, especially when it’s in regards to the more challenging aspects of life. Lauren could continuously wallow in pity, resentment or whatever other self-abusive mind and heart state she chooses, or she could get on with her life and find the funny in her situation.
She wisely chose the latter.
After all, laughing has been scientifically shown to generate a meditative state which has the value of stress reduction, facilitating greater harmony within the mind and body and a plethora of other health benefits. This is where the saying “laughter is the best medicine” is grounded in actual reality.
Yet this reflects a broader issue that is spreading like cancer through our planetary society: political correctness. Huge droves of people are increasingly becoming hyper-sensitive to language and labels, resulting with an unprecedented spread of individuals ‘being offended’. For example, if the correct label or term isn’t used to describe them then it’s ‘offensive’, regardless if others are just ignorant or even don’t resonate with their views.
Now for anyone who has any (un)common sense regarding this matter, it’s not the word, or sentence, that is the cause of the offense. Simply, the cause comes from within the person who is experiencing it. It is each individual’s philosophies, beliefs, emotional sophistication, past experience and free choice that ultimately determines whether they become offended or not, otherwise every single person in similar circumstances would always have the same reaction.
But we know that’s not the case, because some people are more chill and more matured than others, as well as have a more developed sense of humor.
Granted, when someone intentionally tries to offend someone else, then it is much more challenging not to be. However, there are individuals who are have empowered themselves to the point that you could ridicule and condemn them on whatever level you want and they would still just laugh, at least internally. That’s where the adage “if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry” can play a potent part.
Not only that, they might just feel compassion or pity for you because they realise for someone to intentionally want to hurt others they must be in severe pain themselves, regardless if they’re even that conscious of it.
Nevertheless, a person’s intention plays a big role. If the motive is to make light of a situation and there is no malice involved, any offense taken is simply a reflection of either emotional or philosophical immaturity, or a lack of comprehension skills. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have respect, circumspect and be sensitive to other people’s ‘sensitivities’, yet in a sick world jacked up on political correctness no amount of consideration for the feelings of others will guarantee that you won’t offend anyone.
For example, calling individuals male or female based on their sex (i.e. their sexual reproductive makeup) is taken as offensive by some who are emotionally invested in our era of gender fluidity.
Ultimately, if you’re offended by what someone says or does, regardless if they were intentionally trying to hurt someone or not, that is your choice. And if you do ‘feel’ offended, at the least it’s a precious waste of energy and at the worst letting it fester is essentially self-abusive because it ensures that your biochemical stress response is overly activated, potentially leading to a range of health issues.
Furthermore, some people are purposely mean, so deal with it. Understand that it’s most likely pain-based behavior anyway. The reality is it’s not going to change, especially due to the sickness, sadness and stress that characterises our current societal landscape, so hurting yourself over it is not the most wise decision.
So if you’re someone who gets easily offended, think about the destruction it’s doing to your health. There’s already enough self-abuse prevalent throughout society, so the less people compounding this collective illness the better. Instead, be like Lauren, and have a laugh:
“People always respond like, ‘Oh, I feel bad for laughing … And I’m like, ‘No! I think it’s funny…I made it!’”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Phillip J. Watt is an author, presenter, researcher and health coach who lives on the Mid North Coast of NSW Australia. His written and film work deals with topics from ideology to society, as well as self-development. Follow him on Facebook, listen to his Podcast on SoundCloud or Itunes, watch his films and video interviews at his YouTube Channel or visit his websites Pushing the Tipping Point and Vitality Guidance.