Stop getting offended

Perhaps you’ve seen this little phrase floating around the internet these days: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention!” What preposterous nonsense. Enough to make Marcus Aurelius turn over in his grave.

First off, if you’re outraged, you’re probably paying too much attention. Second, we should always remember what the Stoics said about getting offended, that if you’re offended it’s partly your fault. No one has the power to offend you or harm you with words—that power rests solely with you, inside your mind. And third, what evidence is there that being outraged solves anything? If people really are doing awful things, it’s probably because they are not being rational or considerate. The solution to a problem is rarely more of the cause!

Keep that in mind today, or the next time you see someone say something stupid on Facebook or get hit with a breaking news alert. Taking offense solves nothing. It only makes you miserable. Don’t take offense, take control of your perceptions and wield them properly. It is the only way forward.

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