Just because some people feel offended does not mean that they are right. Why is some people’s sense of offense and outrage more credible than my own? I mean, why is my offense and outrage disregarded or disqualified but others’ not? People have a selfish investment in their own sense of offense.
I don’t advertise, or broadcast my offense, so people are highly unlikely to know how I truly feel or think. I intend for it to be that way. Why? Because they are private, and privacy means private. That’s why it’s called that. Strangely, most people don’t get that. Or, if they do, they disagree with it. Others might say that this admission answers my question, “Why is my offense and outrage disregarded or disqualified but others’ not?” I have to purchase regard for myself by promoting myself. But I disagree with that.
Why are my true feelings so private? Because they are mine. They belong to me exclusively.
Why don’t I broadcast myself? Because privacy goes in hand with modesty. Although I could be wrong. I don’t buy into gross self-assertion, or pride-fueled self-esteem.
Why do these things belong to me exclusively? Because I own myself.
I own myself. I own my body and everything about myself. I alone am responsible for me. My internal organs, my blood, my brain are mine. I own my behavior. Non-tangible things as well: I own my beliefs, ideas and emotions. My genuinely true beliefs, ideas and emotions - like my body itself is mine alone - are strictly private and exclusively mine. That means no one’s business.
Here is an important thing: because I own myself I do not blame others for my feelings, negative or positive. They are mine and I am responsible for the way I feel. I do not blame someone if I am sad or angry, frustrated, frightened or, most of all, offended. I think if you want to blame others for your negative feelings then you ought to do the same for the positive ones as well - I do not blame others if I am happy, joyful, thankful, etc. Most people don’t seem to see it that way. Instead, in today’s world we are overly quick to blame others for the negative while claiming the positive for ourselves. Even more, we seek authorities - schools, employers, government - to regulate our feelings, or at least the environments within which we function with an eye to regulating our feelings - with laws and policies.
I’m offended you’re offended. Now we’re even.
Now some might call my admission of neglect of my own publicity answers the question why my sense of offense is disqualified. Some might say that I have to shout it in order to be heard. But I disagree. First, I think that shouting does not increase likelihood of being heard. Indeed, the opposite. More shouting equals more noise equals greater chance of being ignored. Second, if I have to shout to be heard then there is already a failure of communication and - more importantly - a failure of community. Shouting won’t make me a better communicator, make others heed me, or earn me status in the community. Third, human beings ought to have an intuitive sense of our fellows that eliminates the need to shout for attention. In this regard I like Japanese culture so much more than Canadian culture, because Canadian culture is so much unbecoming ego and grotesque self-promotion - both undesirables we learned from the Americans. I don’t dig that. I dig Japanese conventions. Sure, the group habitually prevails over the individual in Japan, which is a hurdle for many (Western) foreigners to get a grip on. But a feature of it is that Japanese have a polite and indulgent regard for their fellows that I admire.
Even though the world is filled with people we despise we are nevertheless made for each other.
I don’t appreciate hearing people complaining of their negative feelings, or whining about their lot. Someone feels offended, for example, or claims that some action or statement is “offensive.” Here’s the thing: I believe I am more offended (and have been for a longer time) than most of them, so I’m offended that they’re offended. I just don’t bitch about it so much. Get on with your life.
English poet John Donne famously wrote that no man is an island, and it’s true that as social creatures we are designed for each other. We need and depend on each other. Even though we might find that the world is filled with people we despise we are nevertheless made for each other. We are, to an extent, our fellows’ keepers.
But I could be wrong.