Why So Sensitive…?

Have you noticed that the world has changed its point of view significantly in the past ten years? Maybe it’s just me… I remember a time when people would speak with one another before a problem, became prominent, first and foremost, and everyone wasn’t so damned sensitive about everything.

“I identify as…”

“That offends me…”

“You know, SOME people may not appreciate your point of view…”

It seems as though no matter what you do nowadays, you can offend someone with almost anything you do. One of my favourites is how medical professionals have started getting offended when a patient offers up an opinion…“Oh, let me guess! You Googled that, didn’t you? Congratulations, you can searcgh for things online! Maybe you’d like to be the doctor???” Considering how many medical professionals I’ve dealt with due to my Type 1 Diabetes, I’ve had this retort thrown in my face on a number of occasions. I guess that all things considered, I can’t blame them! In my line of work, I’ve had people suggest that they know the law better than I do. Although that hasn’t saved them from getting charged. And with the World Wide Web at everyone’s fingertips, where does a professional draw the line in knowing when a client is simply postulating and not threatening your skills?

The other issue that seems to have changed radically in the past ten years is what I like to call “The Holiday Effect”. Canada is home to diverse cultures and multiple backgrounds. And even though we are living in 2019 and should all be able to just get along, this tends to cause an unmeasurable amount of head-butting! We see a great amount of that during the Christmas holidays. These days, saying “Merry Christmas” seems to have taken the wayside and the preferred greeting is “Happy Holidays”, so as to not offend those who may not celebrate Christmas.

Really? So just because you don’t celebrate Christmas, I can’t wish you a happy one, based on how I was raised? Seems kind of backwards, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t we be advanced enough in our development by now that we can respect and ACCEPT all beliefs and cultures?

As a Buddhist, I generally tell people that I am a student of all religions and beliefs. I pride myself on being open to anyone’s perspective (at least until I learn that it is realistically harmful to themselves or others, of course). But where do we draw the line at how far we are willing to change ourselves in order to accommodate others? And is it appropriate to do so?

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that I change my habits to accommodate someone of different background or culture in order to accommodate them. Many would believe that it would be insensitive if I didn’t do so. How far does it go before it starts becoming insensitive to me?

These days, it seems everyone gets to choose the core aspects of themselves: Their name, their gender, EVERYTHING! And people get outright offended when you don’t refer to them based on their chosen lifestyle or perspective. And you know what? It’s okay to choose your own way of life. Maybe it’s not quite okay to get offended, and even angry, if I don’t understand, especially when I don’t know you.

A part of me believes that the advent of social media has made things worse. These issues have plagued the world for decades, but the arrival of information at the world’s fingertips has made it possible for us to hear about these things, even experience them in a much more comprehensive manner than we would of, say ten years ago.

The bottom line is this: No matter what your cultural, religious, racial or ancestral background may be, we can all co-exist. The world is a mighty big place (even at its current population of approximately 7,700,000,000 people (as per the World population Clock at http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/). But despite that fact, there’s room enough for us all to carry our beliefs with us, without disturbing or interfering with anyone else’s. If someone wishes you a Merry Christmas and you don’t celebrate it, no big deal! Just say thank you for the well wishes and move on. I’m certain your respective beliefs teach you to appreciate kindness, and it would be just that! If you identify in a way that may not be clear to other people, don’t get offended or angry; embrace your right to explain it so that people understand. We are all capable of learning, so take the opportunity to teach. If someone offers up a suggestion regarding something related to your professional trade, don’t take it as an insult; simply use it as an opportunity for open dialogue (and remember that YOU are the professional and the opinion is simply that: an opinion).

Let’s find the balance. Let’s learn to co-exist with one another. In a world where every culture is available and visible to the entire globe, it becomes more important than ever for us to learn to get along.

Balance!
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Published by

Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

9 thoughts on “Why So Sensitive…?”

    1. Good morning, Jason. I certainly have never defined myself using the Enneagram system. But now that you’ve suggested it, some of the aspects do appear to explain how others have described me on occasion although I would be far from describing myself as a perfectionist.

      Thanks for commenting! Always a pleasure to touch base with a fellow east coast Canadian!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What brought you out into the prairies? Drove through it back in 2009. I was driving and driving but didn’t feel as though I was getting anywhere. Even hit a porcupine, poor creature, but he got back at me by taking out my break cables. The car coasted out into Foam Lake, Sk. Spent the night at a motel. The owner also owned the garage station across the Street, and thankfully got me fixed up the next day. What a coincidental convenience hey. So ya farming the land out there? How serious are you about Martial Arts?

        The purpose of the Enneagram is not meant to be a means to define oneself, but it can be useful in locating one’s predominant personality type. ‘If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.’ Check out the link below for a free version of the test.

        http://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/dotest

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      2. Sun Tzu fan, eh? I started the martial arts approximately thirty years ago when it was required for my health and haven’t looked back since. It’s become who I am more than what I do. I started with a couple of different arts before I landed on Okinawa karate. These days, I continue with Okinawan karate but I have also been studying Kempo karate with a local school here in Regina.

        The Prairies are beautiful, I originally came out here for work but it’s become home. I met my wife here and ironically her family are indeed farmers.

        I’ll check out the test, thanks for the link.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Neither fan or foe, Sun Tzu’s words seem to be relevant at the time.

        Thanks Shawn, I can relate to your story. Even though my training was only for a few years during my teens, martial arts gave me a good ground for self-discipline. Have you written much on healing from physical injuries?

        Did you get around to doing the Enneagram test; did you end up with Loyalist…

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      4. Well, thanks to the reminder, I’ve dusted off my old copy of “Art of War”, which I haven’t read since I was in my twenties. That’s one of the things I love about having good conversations with people, is it brings about new ideas and reminds of things we’ve done before.

        Same goes for the healing from physical injuries you mention… I haven’t covered that topic much on this blog, but I used to author a Facebook page where I did speak on it a bit. It gives me several ideas on what I could be writing in the posts to come, so thank you for that.

        I did take the Enneagram test. Interestingly enough, I got the Helper. Reading about it was quite interesting and I intend on letting some months pass then taking the test again to see how the test may be affected with some time.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Art of War is a great classic. Its wisdom is timeless. Bruce Lee’s writings on Martial Art can be very liberating to read too. His books – or at least some of them – include diagrams and pictures, which helps to bring his ideas to life.

        Do consider addressing the psychological aspects of trauma too, the unseen wounds can be the worst. Dealing with anger and fear can help immensely with the healing process.

        To help confirm your Enneagram results, have your wife or a close friend do the test on your behalf. The Helper is a noble path. If I could wave a magic wand to help a certain group of people, I would like to see more young offenders being enrolled into full time Martial Art schools, especially youth who have violent tendencies. How about yourself? What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind?

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      6. Yes, I’ve read the Tao of Jeet Kune Do and Bruce Lee did a very good job of covering a wide variety of specifics that apply to all martial arts. Some of his blocking techniques are exactly the same as the circular blocks my karate style uses.

        And I agree, traumatic injury is a great topic, considering how many friends I have who are first responders (and I am one myself).

        I had a martial arts school, back when I lived in New Brunswick. I ran a kids’ class and it had the potential to be very rewarding. That being said, my legacy will be my son. As long as he is able to learn the values I have, acknowledge the world and show it proper respect, but never allow himself to be the victim, he is all the legacy I will need.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. You certainly live a very dynamic and interesting life. My hat is off to you.

        First responders are necessary for our way of life. Come to think of it many of them seem to gravitate towards self defence training.

        The fates have yet to bestow me with the role of fatherhood. Children make the world go round; they give us the opportunity to truly know what it is to be altruistic, compassionate and caring individuals. Unfortunately we can never know for certain whether or not they will take to our value system. All we can really do is love them and support them to the best of our ability. Hopefully the seeds of goodness will sprout within them, but if they go wayward and reject our moral instruction, we mustn’t despair, for love to be love it must be unconditional & freely given. And should we have to live a hundred thousand lives to realize this truth then may it be so.

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