You Have the Right to Offend

words & design by Brian Thompson.

Who gets to decide what's offensive?

Where’s the line between what's simply distasteful or annoying, and what breaks the law? Who decides, and upon what grounds? Where’s the line to be drawn?

It’s important to realize that other people have rights too, not just you.

You have every right to be offended, and I have every right to offend—but neither of us has any right to stop the other from feeling that way.

Regardless of what some self-important folks would have you believe—you DO have the right to offend. In fact, you have NO CHOICE but to offend! There will always be uncountable numbers of people who have opinions opposite to yours, and many will be insulted and annoyed by even the existence of your point of view. But that’s the way opinions work—they’re different for each of us, and many of us will never agree… and that’s ok. How could that ever be considered wrong?

If we’re going to play that game, then I suppose I’m offended by your righteous indignation that your views are more valid than mine. Throw that man in jail!

Wherever did the absurd notion come from that people were somehow guaranteed to never be offended?

How entirely unreal. How entirely unfair! How boring. I suppose some people would prefer were there was only one flavour, one colour, one sound, one belief, and one direction. How bland!

The thing with differing opinions is that without the existence of one, we can’t have the presence of the other. They are inextricably linked. Opposites not only define each other, they co-arise together. East cannot exist without West. Up cannot exist independent of Down. Left will always be defined by Right.

It is the illusion of duality throughout the world and all of it’s forms and manifestations that gives rise to our many annoyances, but it is only an appearance—a falsely perceived one. In truth, all things are one. To deny one, is to deny them all.

Light cannot be seen without the darkness to exist within.

Opposites rely upon each other, they are inseparable. This is how the nature of all things work. The seemingly separate two, are actually one. Whoever then is offended by the arrival of night, might then just as well be offended by the very existence of life itself.

Without any doubt whatsoever, you will at times be annoyed, irritated, and even insulted by the substance of another person's behaviour. And you have every right to be royally peeved by someone, just as they have every right to continue doing whatever bothersome thing that they’re doing… as long as no one is being hurt or unfairly taken advantage of, of course.

We must realize that the right to being offended is an inalienable human right, it’s not just a privilege to be bestowed upon a special few, nor is it to be reserved only for the rich who can use their influence to sway the system—if anything, it’s the poor who should be offended the most, not the rich.

No two brains will ever think the same, and no two palates will ever share the exact same preference. How could anyone possibly be offended by that? We have no choice in the matter, it’s a matter of our biology.

Tear out my tastebuds, they doth offend!

If I’m offended by your ignorance, should you be imprisoned because of it?

If I’m offended by your language, should your mouth be sewn shut?

If I’m offended by who you love, should you be arrested and thrown in jail?

If I’m offended by your beliefs, should you be forced to change yours so they’re identical to mine?

If I’m offended by your taste in music, should you be fined and forced to throw it out?

We mustn’t feel threatened by how other people choose to live—we must awaken to our differences and accept them as such. The presence of summer doesn’t threaten the arrival of winter. Neither season needs to be offended. It’s how the world works.

You have every right to offend—but to be clear, you don’t have any right to inflict harm, or invade upon another person’s personal liberties and freedoms.

But why waste your energy and be bothered by anything at all? Quit being so easily shaken! Quit being so attached to your precious opinions. The only thing you can control is yourself.

So stick your tongue, offend!