This post is a bit scary for me. I had planned to procrastinate its publication until I had posted my extended biography. This is the disclaimer of me. My biography was to be the disclaimer for my disclaimer. How’s that for cautionary measures?
However, in relating Plan A, I am reminded that ‘caution’ is neither a natural nor long-held characteristic of mine. In truth, it is not a characteristic that I am entirely comfortable with or sure what to do with. If I hadn’t paid such a high price for the acquisition, I would throw it out the window.
I do appreciate and even respect necessary caution under certain circumstances. Sky diving, alligator wrestling, splitting an atom…a few others come to mind, but I can say with absolute certainty that caution is unnecessary in self-expression. Discretion yes, caution NO.
Let me clarify.
Opinions and emotions should not be suppressed simply because they may be objectionable. There is a time and a place for vocalizing opinions, yet as a result of caution opinions go unvoiced. Emotions are an entity all on their own. Whether expressed or not, appropriate time or not, emotional reactions occur. Caution causes many of those reactions to be swallowed, repressed, sucked up, covered up or denied. This is unhealthy.
The simple truth about emotions is that they are unpredictable and involuntary. Despite the judgements we place upon ourselves or society places upon us for our reactions, physics wins. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Insult me and I shall become offended.
The difficult truth about opinions is that, regardless of how objectionable they may be, they must not be suppressed. It does not matter if someone is offensive — that is reflective of who they are, not really a reflection on the offended party. In taking offense, (an emotional reaction) an individual recognizes a divergence in thought – a good thing to recognize. How a person reconciles offenses against them defines their character. In a way, this blog is a tool in my personal reconciliation.
That said, what follows is my opinion. If I offend, I want to know how and why – not so I can argue, contradict or justify. No, I want to know how or why I have offended in order to learn. This does not imply that my opinion will change, but if I am wrong I have no problem admitting to it, I am wrong at least once an hour, I am used to being wrong.
‘Wrong’ is not bad, shameful or embarrassing. Small or narrow-minded is unforgivable.