Stop Being Offended

The Enlightenment Task That Can Make Us Happier People

by Perry Louis Fields Founder, Author, Medical Pioneer, Food Scientist and Engineer

I don’t take myself so seriously.   If you’re not laughing at least once a day, it seems like a WASTED day.   Now my grandfather, Dr. Perry, would always say a day that goes by that you don’t LEARN something, is a WASTED day.

I try to do both.  It was a easy to learn a lot in 2020, challenging to laugh!

This week, I got on my first Zoom meeting with the Titan CEOs (which I was inducted into last year), which is not only a huge honor for me, but hard for me personally because I’m a very private person!  The meeting dived into personal discussion with strangers!

One of the questions we had to fill in the blank was: If people really knew me, they would know (BLANK).

My answer to you:  If people really knew me, they would know that I’m fun-loving.  My husband and I still physically wrestle each and we are usually trying to outwit each other with our banter.   I am very hard on myself.  The hardest lesson for me is allowing things to not be so perfect, just so they actually get done.  “A work in progress” is a hard motto.  Most people would never know all of the tiny problems I’m aware of.  I spend a lot of time alone.  I don’t fear solitude.  I never get bored.  I like to see other people succeed.  I like to see people living well.  I’m very spiritual and have had a lot of personal growth over the past decade.  My favorite music is Motown.  I was a professional athlete and it was not fulfilling.  I’ve always competed in a man’s world: manufacturing, West Point, little league (was all boys in the 80s), trained professionally in US Track and Field with men (the best women do).  I’ve never had any injustices in the man’s world for being a woman…just  embraced, admired and loved.  And I’ve heard a whole lot of locker room talk! 

The last game we played was brutal, because it required us to go around and say the things that were impactful to us, that were stated by someone else.  The most impactful statement for me was Douglass Jackson of the C.U.R.E project.

But once it was my turn, I described Doug, as “the guy with the boats in the background,” and then tried to paraphrase what he said which sounded a lot like (in my mind),  “He’s got sh*t he wants to do before he dies,” which is not exactly what he said.  I had to apologize and tell everyone that the GIG was up and that what they were asking me to do was something that I struggle with when first meeting people. 

(As people speak, I’m usually trying to figure them out.  It’s the tone of voice, the background, the face, the energy that comes off someone that throws me off. I’m listening, but it’s more of a feeling (which is often deeper than words).  I’ll save the high functioning autism for another post.) 

They laughed with me, but not at me.  And nobody was offended!

I went home and was obsessed about my embarrassment. I even cried a little (and it was my birthday).  After telling my mother and sister about it and hearing them roar with laughter, I realized it was probably okay. 

Here is the task.

ENLIGHTENMENT TASK:  Recall something that you were offended by, then make the argument for why you shouldn’t be.  After all, in a one on one conversation, you may be speaking to someone with an actual communication “disability.”

Being offended is the choice we can just say no too. 

I think it’s really needed these days. 

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