“I’m offended” is probably the most overused sentiment that I have come across in recent years. Of course, the underlying statement is really “I’m entitled,” and has little to do with actual offense being committed. The distinction is having a different opinion versus being attacked. It’s something I don’t understand; there are plenty of things that I disagree with, things that I could never, ever, ever(did I say ever) be onboard with. But that’s my opinion, and since some might disagree, it’s not really productive to claim offense in hopes that things will change.
There’s a Teddy Roosevelt quote that has been an influential factor in how I conduct myself in many situations: “Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.” Yet, so many people, across all ages, seem content with only completing the first half of this process. As social workers, we might work with a patient, who will say something like “I don’t like that I ____.” What use would we be if we allowed it to stop there? Our role is to go “OK, what can we do to change that?” So why is it so different in our everyday life?
It is easy to knock others down. It’s easy to say that you don’t like the way things are done and then step back with indignation that the other party disagrees. We are too easy to forgive ourselves because we assume that we’re trying the best, while believing that others are automatically shady. Instead of taking the easy road to martyrdom, why don’t we instead actually try to implement change? Even if it doesn’t work at least you gave it an actual shot, but don’t shun the opportunity. There are open platforms if you wish to use them. We stand as one of them. Do you have an issue to discuss? Is there something going on that others should be aware of? Don’t stand there in silent mutiny hoping it to be enough. Do what we’re trained to do. Educate, bring about awareness, implement change. Let’s stop taking issue and start making changes.
By: Courtney Kidd, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer
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