A good friend (and excellent blogger) of mine recently recommended that I try to share more impressions about our travels on our blog. I agree that he’s right…I don’t share my personal opinion very often on my blog…and I approach that challenge with some trepidation. Why? Isn’t that the purpose of a blog, to share what you stand for, and why?
I step forward into this challenge with fear, because I think people are too easily offended when you share something you believe in. I sadly know people that jump to conclusions whenever I post anything that supports a different lifestyle than they’re living. They immediately assume that because I support a different lifestyle than theirs, that I am personally attacking them. PERSONALLY!
That’s hogwash! I’ll tell you what. If I’m going to personally attack you, I’ll print your name. Why bother being discreet or tactful? I’ve never been good at either one of those.
Why take offense at something that is not intended to be an insult? Why bother to be offended when someone else has a different opinion than you?
There is a fantastic quote by Brigham Young that I have always loved. He said:
“He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.”
In a season of political uproar (gotta love election time), political posts are going up left and right, both in the blogging world and on Facebook. I am friends with a lot of alternative-thinkers, and therefore I see a lot of interesting posts criticizing conservative ideals that I believe strongly in. Do I jump into those conversations and claim offense? No! That’s ridiculous! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I do not personally have to lay claim on what they’ve said as being a personal, direct insult to me. Why waste your life being offended?
I think when you live a life of a minority, you get used to criticism. And in this case, I’m not talking about those of a racial minority—I’m talking about those living an alternative lifestyle or subscribing to a way of thinking that is limited to a small minority of people within our culture. It annoys me that because I am in the minority, some who are in the majority feel I shouldn’t share my opinion (even though they’re welcome to express theirs freely).
When people live the life of the majority, they don’t often get criticized. However, when you’ve chosen to live against that norm, criticisms abound, and you find yourself constantly defending why you’ve made the choices you have (whether that is verbally, or in your head). Yes, to choose to live outside of the box means that you’ve evaluated the alternative and you’ve decided that you don’t want to live inside of that pre-determined box.
But should my choice offend you? Are the people living the lifestyle of the majority really unable to take the criticism that the minority endure each day?
You could label me with all sorts of things that are considered a controversial, taboo subject in many circles:
Homeschooler, Vegetarian, Vegan, Mormon, Digital Nomad, Minimalist, Home-birther, Naturalist
Just a few of the many.
Am I not allowed to make any post supporting my decisions, or the decisions of others whom I agree with? Is supporting one thing really insulting the other?
When my friends post about how much they’re enjoying settling into a newly-purchased home and decorating, do I personally take offense and assume that they are attacking my choice to sell the majority of my belongings and set off to see the world with my family? No!
When I post anything about the reasons I choose to cook vegan, should you feel I am criticizing your way of cooking? No!
When I applaud a family that has chosen to worldschool their children as they travel the world suggest that I think people who settle down and put their children in public school are daft or evil? No!
I am only supporting a different choice.
If you can take offense at one of the examples above, you are equally suggesting that saying to one person “Congratulations, you graduated from college!” means that I am saying to another, “I can’t believe you didn’t complete college—you’re dumb!”
We all have choices, and there is value in every choice.
The beauty is that we each get to choose what is best for us.
I am committing to try to share more of what makes me tick here. Some of it you may agree with, and some of it you won’t.
If you’re one of those people that is offended by me saying what I believe in and support (because you think that I am personally attacking YOU and your choices), then I suggest you get over it!
And realize there are many ways to live a life, and Living Outside of the Box is just one of 6 billion.