I’m offended that you won’t offend me!

January 28th, 2011

Going about our daily business, we often find displeasure in the inconvenience that comes with sacrificing our time to fulfill an obligation. Normally, fear does not dissuade us from riding the flow of a schedule we devised for ourselves. But what if it did? The typically comfortable citizen of the world would cease to be relaxed and thrown into a state of constant alert. An air of primal competition would become commonplace and one would be forced to perform better or be destroyed.

Some, who are unfortunately deficient of intelligence, might find themselves constantly in such a condition. For that, I am sorry. However, the contentment one normally experiences doesn’t seem to do much except encourage complacency.

What could have such a dramatic impact on that state of the world? Aliens? Terrorists? Inuits?

What’s fun about this is we can cause change ourselves. How empowering! I know, I know, I still didn’t describe what I’m talking about. Precisely.

Far too often people get stuck in a sand pit that is the comfort zone. This has come from years of taking the path of least resistance. I’m in full support of efficiency in all practices of life; but what is the good of doing anything if there is no reward? Naturally, I am not only speaking of physical discomfort but emotional and intellectual turmoil.

Being the Jesuit University in Cleveland, we pride ourselves in appreciating many complex and sometimes conflicting perspectives. Yet, the populous of this university is shockingly similar. Of course it is easy to accept other viewpoints if we never have to face them.

You know that person you can’t stand and disagree with every product of their brain? You say, “enemy.” I say, “opportunity!” It is very desirable to avoid conflict and simply agree to disagree. But really, how fun is that? Besides, what ever happened to standing up for our principles and fighting to the bitter end for things we feel strongly about?

Of course, arguing whether the pizza or the calzones in the dining hall are better for you that than the other is hardly worth the effort. Either way, you’re going to need triple bypass surgery in three years. But, what has happened to quality arguments in all settings, not only the classroom? We don’t want to offend anyone by saying something politically incorrect or hurting their feelings by pointing out, with logical, supporting evidence, every way that they are deficient.

I actually find it more offensive if one says nothing, for inaction is still an action (see “Hamlet”). What I think you are communicating by not communicating is that you don’t care about my betterment. You want me to be a slug, like you. Misery does enjoy company…

Universal acceptance is quite often preached. By keeping our thoughts to ourselves, uniformity is encouraged. Ergo, we are accepting a lower standard of human by eliminating brain competition.

Oh well, you can just take a test, get a high GPA and secretly be better than everyone else. At least no one will get upset at you.