Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Giving Offense

After my last post, I thought I'd better write about something a little more light-hearted to redeem myself, but I ran across a great quote I wanted to share.  It's fitting for more reasons than the obvious, but before I do so, I just want to clarify for any who  might be concerned (in regard to previous post), my comments were not to say that I am "mad" at anyone at all.  I'm just a bit disappointed, and it has nothing to do with any one person in particular.  It's just the decision I'm unhappy about.  I still love the people who have chosen this; I guess I've gotten so I feel like I'm the only one out here taking this stand.  I wish I didn't feel so alone in this, and it's baffling to me that I feel this way.

So, here's the quote:

"What is our response when we are offended, misunderstood, unfairly or unkindly treated, or sinned against, made an offender for a word, falsely accused, passed over, hurt by those we love, our offerings rejected? Do we resent, become bitter, hold a grudge? Or do we resolve the problem if we can, forgive, and rid ourselves of the burden? The nature of our response to such situations may well determine the nature and quality of our lives, here and eternally. A courageous friend, her faith refined by many afflictions, said to me only hours ago, "Humiliation must come before exaltation." It is required of us to forgive. Our salvation depends upon it."
--Marion D. Hanks, "Forgiveness The Ultimate Form of Love", Ensign Jan. 1974, 20

Let me take a moment and explain why this quote hit me as wonderful today.  Again, it has nothing to do with the previous post.

It has been interesting at church lately.  There is one woman there who is very unhappy with me.  I won't go into to much detail, but I offended her.  Not intentionally, I can assure you, but nevertheless, I ticked her off.  Funny thing is that the same day this happened, I had to deal with another woman in the very same way with the very same problem.  I wish I could go into more detail, so you'd understand, but the second woman was so good about it, so easy-going, that it was a breath of fresh air.

It almost seems like the first woman was looking for something to be unhappy about.  The second woman kept things in perspective.  I don't want to make judgments about their situations or why they might have reacted the way they did because I don't think those things have really any validity.  I believe that, no matter what your situation, giving someone the benefit of the doubt is always in season.

So, that is why I love this quote by Marion D. Hanks.  Sometimes it seems that we allow our emotions to rule us.  We let them decide how we feel about life.  In reality, it is part of our choice in this life; we get the opportunity to control our own reactions.

Here's the point I'm at now.  In the past, I would just let the woman stay offended, and let it go.  I think all I can do for her now is continue to be kind to her even if it's just to say hello to her in the halls and give her a big ol' smile.  To be honest, it does bother me that she's mad.  It was really a very minor thing.  I don't think anyone likes knowing that someone's mad at them, but I feel good that I really did nothing wrong.  Things could be so different if she just chosen otherwise.


vaxhacker said...

Very nice quote and your thoughts about it. I always find it hard to deal with this situation.

Alyson said...

You're not the only one making a stand; my under 13s don't have FB or any other social networking pages.

I'm sure I've offended, but I've never known that someone was offended at me, nor for what. They just simmered in silence, I guess. So I'm fascinated by your current situation.

Tonya said...

Like the quote. And it's words are true. It's tough to take the higher road sometimes, but it does make all the difference in how happy our lives are on a daily basis.

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