The right to be heard and easily offended

28 Jul

orange cabinet

I must certainly be getting old. Or, at least, my mind is or always has been living in a different era.

I’ve been observing the “younger generation” for some time now. By that, I mean adults aged 35 and under. I’ve watched how they interact with parents and how they respond to peers and others and how they behave in social situations. I don’t want to sound too condescending, patronising or dismissive of the younger generation as I’ve been part of that generation too and appreciate the invaluable contribution each generation brings to the community or society as a whole.

But: I have noticed how we interact, respond act and react has an effect on the next generation. I’m aware that we have a great deal more technology, information, access to social media, education, more awareness and knowledge of our Rights, various Discrimination Acts encompassed under the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act, legislation, regulations and so on and so forth. So, we appear to have more heightened sense of “awareness” and are more “mindful” if we appear to demonstrate prejudice, being too judgemental, too dismissive, too outspoken/opinionated or expressing our “freedom of speech”.


However, in saying that, the subtle nuances of conversation, the subtexts or underlying meanings,  have been slowly eliminated or being eradicated. For the people under 35 that I have observed or witnessed or spoken to, in my experience, they appear to be querying, questioning all what is being said and done or what is being asked of them. This is all good and well as asking relevant, appropriate or pertinent questions adds to the knowledge and therefore we learn but it’s the manner in which it is being asked now which, to me, is the issue.

The heightened sensitivities, especially since 9/11 has given rise to a more powerful and potent dynamics of society; the “politics” of the community has changed drastically and is almost always under scrutiny. Alongside Islamophobia and other social phobias, those who are demanding their rights to speak or their voices to be heard appear to be creating a social monster.

It’s good to live in a world free of hate, but for example, is it right that we daren’t say something like “Hello, you look lovely today” for fear of being offensive, too personal or intrusive? Where do you draw the line? since compliments are offered and can provide or help build confidence and self esteem are they not? and criticisms, of the “constructive” variety, are they not there to help develop skills, talent and knowledge??

At this rate, is it any wonder people are becoming more insular, living in their own “bubbles” and stating “Not my story, not my circus, not my monkeys?”

Is it any wonder that, as we push forward into the 21st century, the “heightened sensitivities and easily offended” can cause and has created socio-political troubles, more anxiety and a fear of understanding, leading to more ignorance?

Is it any wonder that mind games are being played at work, within social media and within families?

Because to me, it seems, sometimes, those who shout the loudest are also the most dangerous.

Millenium point structure


The Learned Kat


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