Is it just me, or is the average person’s capacity to hear and see things they don’t agree with without taking personal offence diminishing? There are many, many things I don’t agree with, things that don’t dovetail comfortably with my morals and ideals, but I let them go.
Taking offence, or believing and acting as though our point of view is the right one, is such an egotistical stance. And I come across all these outraged people who’s sense of equilibrium is so easily disturbed. It’s like they are professional objectors! Almost anything can set them off. Politics, religion, lifestyle choices. Whatever happened to live and let live?
It’s as if people think they have this innate right to sail through life with everything and everyone mirroring their own personal take on life. And if others behave in a way that disturbs them, they see that as a viable reason for whatever is bothering them to stop. It’s crazy!
Is it diversity that upsets them? Uniqueness? Or maybe professional objectors are simply unsure of what they stand for, or who they actually are? Maybe their sense of self is so precarious and fragile, that anything different is seen as a threat?
In the late 80’s, people got so upset by the New Age Travellers. They hated these people who’s only crime, as far as I can tell, was choosing a life on the road, travelling from place to place in converted buses, coaches and camper vans. For me, they typified freedom. I knew a lot of them. They were good people, modern day gypsies. Many of them were artists and musicians. The Tory government soon put a stop to their way of life, creating laws that prohibited people travelling in groups on the roads. I was sad to see them go.
Every country and culture needs people like the New Age Travellers. So what if they were on benefits. Most creatives and free spirits need a little help along the way as they forge new ways of being. Without the inspirers, the renegades, a society stagnates. So, for me, I see them and people like them who live on the outer edges of society, as national treasures, people to nurture.
Perhaps a lot of the people who take offence at the way others choose to live are motivated by jealousy? Maybe they secretly admire those that choose a different way to express but feel unable to do so themselves? Maybe they just lack the courage to step away from the crowd and ruffle a few feathers…