Friday, October 11, 2013

You Being "Offended" Doesn't Mean I Have To Stop What I'm Doing!

Jennifer Link, in a Parade Magazine opinion piece titled -  "Is Gun Play Ok?" - ruminates about her boys and the fact they like to play with toy guns.  As I was perusing the column I couldn't help but feel she was somehow apologetic, as if this form of adolescent entertainment was somehow wrong - while explaining why boys need this kind of play, how it affects their development and yet, submissively lowering her eyes when faced with those that are "uncomfortable" or "upset" seeing children play with toy guns.

In the article she gives "common sense limits" for children playing with toy guns.  One of these reads...

“My boys also know that the play must stop immediately if someone expresses discomfort with the play, or if an adult or authority figure asks them to stop.”

Why?

When I was little, my Brother and I were taught to stand our ground if we felt we were in the right and to apologize if we were in the wrong.  Believe it or not, we were specifically told to “Stick to your guns!”

Compassion for others is a good thing, something children should learn at an early age, but acquiescing to others unfounded, ignorant and fearful beliefs only validates that persons outlook, giving them a false sense of self importance and begets the belief that if you are "offended"  you have the right to demand that people conform to your sensibilities.

This is patently untrue.

We are not responsible for what offends others sensibilities. People in this country have somehow
come to believe that if they are “offended” then others must stop what they are doing. This is wrong headed and should not be tolerated. If you're “offended” that my child is playing with a toy gun, or throwing a baseball or playing tic tac toe, then go someplace else.

It's a good read and she is right in many ways, it's just a pet peeve of mine... the whole "I'm OFFENDED!" thing.

Oh yeah, and as an addition… can we all commit to stop using the phrase “common sense,” as though saying it out loud makes it so?