Ricky Gervais is more than just a funny man and a brilliant writer. I’ve quoted him often, whenever someone attempts to redefine the world around them in their own way, instead of in the way it actually is.
My favourite among his quotes is, “Just because you’re offended, doesn’t make you right.” When someone takes offence to something there is an expectation of an apology and a dressing-down of the “offender” often takes place. Why? Doesn’t the law consider intent when it comes to murder? There are many cases where being offended is just as inappropriate as saying something inappropriate can be. Being offended doesn’t make you automatically right.
Here’s another one of Ricky’s gems: “Being offended is feeling your displeasure at the fact that not everyone cares as much about the exact same things as you.” In other words, telling me (or anyone else) that you’re offended is an attempt to make us feel the way you do. It doesn’t always work. Nor should it.
Here’s another one I love about conspiracy theorists. Keep in mind that I agree some events must have been conspiracies. But when I met a woman who says she gets on board with every conspiracy theory she hears and calls herself a “conspiracy theorist” I thought, oh, that’s sad. And this quote from English writer Alan Moore sums up my perspective much more thoroughly: “Conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is actually chaotic. The truth is that it is not The Iluminati, or The Jewish Banking Conspiracy, or the Gray Alien Theory. The truth is far more frightening. Nobody is in control. The world is rudderless.”
I guess what I’m learning as I go through life is that I have little time for people who attempt to redefine the world from the way it is to the way they wish it would be. If you want to work to change things that are wrong or not going well, that’s wonderful. But to filter reality through one’s own personal lens, complete with an expectation that everyone else should use that lens, just makes me dismissive of anything that person says. Life has greys and pinks and blues and yellows. It’s not black and white. And that’s quite okay. It’s still an amazing and worthwhile ride!