26 March 2011

Wisdom, Thy Name Is Irony

I often mutter this quote under my breath: "There are things you think, there are things you say, and a wise person knows the difference."  I speak it mostly when I am discussing any topic under the category Academia.

A wise person also follows his own advice, yes?  Therein lies the dilemma - easier said than done.

Quandary: When do you tell someone they've offended you, if at all?

There - now that I've typed it out, I can actually think about it.

I guess it all comes down to purpose, doesn't it?  What would be my purpose in telling the offenders I was hurt? 

To inform them?  Okay, whose good is that for?  Mine, because I want to get it off my chest?  Theirs, just so they know?

To persuade them to not do it again?  Perhaps, but what if it wasn't an intentional offense in the first place?  That complicates matters.

To be understood?  To convey emotion?  To make a connection?

Nah, I can't really come across a purpose that justifies making my disappointment known.  It would probably strain relations, cause tension - all for an issue that I could work through internally, on my own.

I must have a high-threshold for broadcasting disappointment - anyone want to weigh in on this?


  1. Why not say, "I realize that you did not mean to offend me, but you did. I think it is important in our relationship that you know that so that you will not repeat the same offense in the future. Thank you for listening."

  2. I came across a couple of quotes a few years ago that changed the way I handle any situation in which I am offended (which happens less and less frequently because of them).

    "Being offended creates the same destructive energy that offended you in the first place - so transcend your ego and stay in peace."

    "The more you extend love - even to those you feel have harmed you in some way - the closer you come to being love, and it's in this beingness of love that dao is reached."

    I also find it helpful to consider the source, if the person is constantly offending me, I realize the intention is probably ill. If, however, the person rarely offends me, I shrug it off as an unintentional offense like you mentioned.

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