Friday, February 26, 2016

On Keeping Short Offense Lists

One of the few useful things I learned and carried out into my daily life from my old church is that you are the one that decides to take offense over things. It's many times a very conscience choice you make and that it's possible to not take offense over so many things.

No matter the ranting I do here, in reality I let a lot of things just roll off my back without taking offense over them. They really don't matter in the long run.

The big benefit of not taking offense is also that you're not dragging around a long list of offenses in your mind. Less offenses means a more serene mind, letting others be responsible for their own actions and having many fewer things to have to forgive others for.

A short list if you must keep a list.

Today I was confronted with a long list of things I'd done to offend someone else, a list that goes back at least five years. Here's the thing, I really do not remember any of those things, not sure how true that list is and I'm left wondering why the list-maker didn't just bother to talk to me about these offenses when they occurred years ago.

Their holding onto this list hasn't hurt me, not at all, I wasn't aware that they felt this way at all. But it has hurt them, created some agitation inside them. That can't be healthy for them, or very comfortable. It's sort of  like that hoary old chestnut of a saying about taking poison and expecting your enemy to die. Offense lists are like that. They harm you, not the person you're angry at.

It's simpler just not to carry around grudges or piles of slights and past hurts. Like Jimmy Buffet says, 'Breath in, breath out, move on.' May you always have the ability to do just that. It was a good reminder to me to keep up my policy of not taking everything as an offense.

No comments: