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Opinion: Don’t Be So Easily Offended, Be Like The Lady In Belmont

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Being Easily Offended Seems A Way Of Life For Some

Evidently we are right in the thick of people being easily offended.  While it’s at an astonishing level right now, people have been increasingly sensitive for years.  I’ll admit I can be, but the sensitivity I’m talking about is barely rational. 

For example, I recall one day I was driving along a two-lane road behind someone and before long the road opened up into a four-lane.  At this point, the speed limit increased but she kept her pace, so I increased my speed, which necessitated my passing her.  As I attempted to pass, she accelerated to match my speed.  I looked over and she flipped me off.  I’m not sure what I did to deserve that, but she clearly didn’t care for me passing her.

Years ago our neighbors had a dog that they left outside for a night.  He was a good dog, well taken care of, and he had a nice doghouse, so there was no issue there; however, on this particular night, he barked.  He barked a lot.  My husband and I had a lot going on the following day and really needed sleep.  Even if we didn’t have a busy day planned, it’s almost impossible to sleep with a dog barking as much as this guy did.  Cell phones weren’t often used at the time and the neighbors weren’t home for us to call a home phone, so we left a note on the front door.  It was not filled with expletives; it was a brief note to say their dog barked all night.  They probably had no idea.  We meant no offense, we just wanted to let them know.  I’d want to know.  They never said anything to us at the time, nor since.   

These stories bring me to a recent encounter that has led me to believe there are some folks who are reasonable and kind.  A couple of weeks ago at work in Belmont a gal pulled her vehicle out of her parking spot as I was coming by.  I hit my brakes so hard my car stalled.  I did not use my horn, though, and I honestly don’t know why.  So, I figured out where to contact her and sent her an email to let her know what happened.  It was brief.  I simply told her I came very close to hitting her vehicle because she pulled out without looking.  I soon received an email from her in which she apologized profusely and thanked me for contacting her.  She could not have been nicer, and we had a great conversation.  I don’t know anyone that drives who hasn’t committed a minor driving mistake that they may not realize took place.

Stuff happens, but if I do something that is bothersome or that could potentially hurt someone, please tell me.  I may not know otherwise.  I won’t be hurt or offended.  And thank you to the gal in Belmont who “owned” what she did and responded with kindness and consideration.

Leslie J. Lange, Freedom NY

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