Today, one can’t speak their mind without getting reprimanded. Sure, sometimes some sensitivity training might be a good refresher but for the most part today’s society is often too politically correct. Political correctness or being sensitive to others has become the new black or pink or blue or aqua-marine. Yes, society needs to respect and celebrate everyone equally. But, just because one person believes or better yet their religious beliefs or what have you dictate how to act or feel about a certain subject, it doesn’t mean everyone else is wrong or their beliefs or thoughts should go without merit.
Take Christmas for instance. Many Canadians aren’t Christian. It’s a fact. Heck, many Christians aren’t Christian these days. They say it, they just don’t practice it. What’s wrong with calling a Christmas Tree a Holiday Tree or vice-versa? A person can celebrate Christmas and not even be religious, rather the person enjoys the traditional aspect of the happy holiday and might enjoy hanging out with family and friends.
For those who watch the news every night or read it in a newspaper everyday — especially politics — there’s nothing politically correct, ever. Politicians spout out about family values and doing what is righteous for the good of humanity. Politicians supposedly representing the values and beliefs voters hold dear, when in fact, many represent self-serving and/or business interests at hand. Where’s the sensitivity in that?
In the United States, right now, there’s a civil rights issue happening just like in the old days. History is sadly repeating itself but this time, underneath it all is a more sinister problem. Violence and how violence is approached by the powers that be. In today’s society, everyone’s afraid and for good reason. In Canada and in the U.S. it is common for people to be afraid of other people because our society has a never-ending story — we’ve been told everyone’s out to get us, especially those who don’t think one way or another or like each other. To be different is to be feared, by today’s hokey pokey standards but it’s always been that way, since the dawn of mankind. What offends us is subjective and it changes every day, as the world turns. Bullying in today’s society, is down or at least that is what we’re told. Which is a fantastic achievement for kids and adults too — at school, in the workplace or on a city or town street. Bullying includes name calling, physical contact, making someone feel inferior (because of whatever), using power to influence others (politicians, you’re a bully at times too).
Whatever happened to fun? George Carlin, the late great comedian, used to push the envelope with his innovative brand of comedy. Today, other comedians and entertainers use rude and crude humour to make fun of today’s societal norms and trials and tribulations. Americans Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, John Stewart and John Oliver plus Canadian Rick Mercer — all make people think through being blunt and real (on the more Liberal side) and the Conservative right has their men and women who stand up for the other side of the coin. Poking fun at our short-comings is what keeps the world sane. Right now, the world is becoming more insane.
The world needs less sensitivity at times and more not taking oneself so seriously. As the Joker said in “The Dark Knight,” — “Why so serious?”
We are nothing but serious-junkies addicted to putting ourselves in more serious predicaments for nothing. In the end, whether you believe in heaven or hell or whatever, don’t you just want to take a deep breath and say, “Yeah, this has been the life.”
Guilt dictates society. Whether it’s religious guilt or parental guilt or being guilty or doing something society frowns upon — society is guilty of being way too serious. Society, well at least in North America, is built on a guilt system. Guilt tells North Americans what to do or face utter annihilation. Guilt prods North Americans in how to live life. Guilt tells North Americans how to act and be model citizens. Guilt is one of North America’s biggest fears. So, what can save the world from enormous guilt? Being less a stress ball of gigantic proportions is a good start. Quit worrying about everything and anything.
Yes, it is indeed easier said than done but it is doable. Take things in stride — take baby steps. At night, instead of worrying about bills to pay or the next day of work say “Now, is not the time.” There is a time and place for thinking about that sort of thing but when going to sleep is not that time. Instead of getting all riled up because you were offended by someone’s remark — just say, “Whatever” and move on.
If somebody feels a Christmas tree should be called a Christmas Tree — call it that but don’t be miffed if someone else likes the idea of a Holiday Tree — does it really matter in the end? This New Year make a resolution to be less stressed, less serious and smile and laugh.