bullyI have been thinking a lot lately on why people get so offended by the smallest of things. Sometimes it doesn’t even relate to them personally, but they choose to be offended by it or they seem to make it about themselves so they can thrive on that feeling of being offended. I sometimes think that perhaps they have lived their life day after day looking for something to outrage them. Feeling deeply that perhaps because of some incident that happened in their life as a youth or adult gives them the right to do so.Twisting things that are said to help feed the rage inside them to give them a reason to be offended, hate or mistrust. I wonder how they can live day after day with this kind of drama in their life. Not one of us was born filled with hate. Hate is of Satan. Taking offense to every little thing that happens in your life is of Satan. When you choose to be offended or take something wrong, then you have chosen to follow Satan. I personally will choose to be happy. The thought of living every minute of my day trying to find something to offend me is exhausting. I will give the human race some credit. I do not believe that most people start their day by saying or thinking, “Hey, what am I going to say to Jim, Bob or Nancy today to offend them”. I think most people don’t consciencely do that. None of us was born with a communication manual stapled to our butts. It is a skill that many of us take a lifetime to master. I see it as a parent. Things I tell my children to help them in their lives frequently are seen as, “You don’t love me”, or “You hate me”. When in fact it is the complete opposite. They choose not to see it that way, because perhaps it is easier to take offense than to learn and grow. When I take a step back and look at what I said and how I said it, I can see where perhaps I could have worded some things differently that would have made a difference, but the child also wanted to see it the way they wanted to see it. If we all were perfectionists at communication, do you think some will still choose to be offended? Probably, because as long as Satan exists, it will exist. In junior high, I was relentlessly bullied. It was awful. To this day, I have not even told my children what was said to me, because I do not want them to see the flaws that these three young men apparently saw in me. Every morning having to stand at the bus stop with these three boys was a trial. They humiliated me in some of the worst kinds of ways during one of the most awkward stages of life. It couldn’t have been worse in my mind. One day my friend that was with me, that usually stood up for me, even laughed at one of their jokes. That devastated me and made things worse because I felt even more vulnerable with no one to have my back. I was a shy kid and it took a lot for me to speak up let alone make friends. One day I decided to try out for the school talent show with some encouragement from my parents. I made it and ended up singing. It was scary, and I think I was more happy that I lived through it than for my actual performance. Afterward, I ran into these young men in the hall. They proceeded to poke fun at my singing and humiliated me in front of others. I almost didn’t sing again publicly because of them. If not for loving parents who persistently encouraged me, that probably would have been the end of my singing. One day while on the school bus, one of these young men got separated from the other two. He happened to be in front of me and my friend. I remember taking advantage of this situation and we plagued him with every mean personal attack we could come up with. He sat there silently taking it all. When my friend and I were done, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I was sick. Sick of the way I had just acted. I had just become the very thing I loathed, a bully. I don’t care if he and his cousins treated me like that, it was not who I was and not how I wanted to be. That was a changing point in my life. I chose from that time forward to never treat someone like that again no matter what and have tried like crazy to teach my children to be the same way. If I would have used this childhood experience to base my assumptions and judgments on others and to dictate my relationships with others, I would have one of the most miserable lives ever. I would never trust, nor would I ever be able to fully love or feel love. Who would want to live like that? How would that dictate the way I taught my children? That you should never trust anyone because they will hurt you or offend you? How terrible would that be to start your children on a course like that to travel throughout their lives, passing it on to generation after generation. God wants us to be happy. We dictate that emotion in our own lives. patrickplungerWe choose to be happy because of life’s experiences or we choose to be miserable because of life’s experiences. I CHOOSE to be happy despite what I may or may not think someone said about me or thinks about me. There is enough hate, misunderstanding and intolerance in this world. We need more love, acceptance, understanding and happiness. If it doesn’t start with ourselves who will it start it? Because our children will be just like us.

Advertisements