Never in this life will there be a shortage of insensitive, demanding, ungrateful, offensive, self-centered, ruthlessly competitive, mean-spirited people. Nor will there be a shortage of perpetually offended ones–religious and nonreligious alike.

“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

To be offended—or worse, to live in a continual state of being offended and turning it into a cause or personal identity—makes relationship impossible, other than to have mere fans or followers. It lowers energy and productivity and prevents learning. It shatters society, obscures truth, and leads to mental disease.

It can be tempting to follow offensive and offended people, absorbing their causes and identities, clothing ourselves in their “truth,” and getting carried away by the tsunami of their emotions when we lack clear vision of our own. It takes wisdom, restraint, and deliberate choice and effort to stand back from the fray, recognize it for what it is, and refuse to participate without causing further offense or seeming not to care. To do so is the ultimate act of caring. It is to see and embrace the bigger picture of which we all are a part.

10 Ways to Stop Being So Easily Offended