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4/21/2003

 
| Was it Something I Said?

I have recently come to an observation about life; it is close to impossible to go through a day without offending at least one person. The only way not to offend someone would be to not come into contact with anyone; but I don’t think that would work either. Somebody would be offended that you didn’t reach out to them.

People get offended for a whole host of reasons. They think you are being too serious or you are not being serious enough, they can accuse you of being supersensitive – or insensitive. You are being too mean, too nice, too flattering, too insulting, too selfish, or not assertive enough. You can not win.

Have you ever been on a committee? If you have not been on one consider yourself fortunate. I am convinced that a committee’s sole function is so that people can get together and disagree and be offended with one another. There is an old saying that a camel is a horse that was built by committee. That saying gives committees too much credit.

The reason I bring this issue up is because most people go through life worrying about pleasing people. This is a real problem because I have already established that no matter what you do in life, someone is going to be offended. So as a result, everyone is worried and bothered about everyone else – and little gets accomplished.

Look at some of the world’s greatest leaders:

Jesus – offended so many people they killed him
Julius Caesar – stabbed to death by his advisors
Joan of Arc -- executed
Napoleon – Died in forced exile
Martin Luther King – Assassinated
Gandhi – Assassinated
Robert and John Kennedy -- Assassinated
Sadat – Assassinated by a supporter who thought he was too soft on Israel
Malcolm X – Assassinated by a one time supporter

The list could go on and on. If you try and change the world, some people are not going to like you – in fact some will downright HATE you.

But you can not let someone not approving of you stop you from doing what you believe in. Because even if you stop doing everything you believe in – some people will still not like you.

Abraham Lincoln once said:

You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all of the time.”

One of the people Lincoln could not please was John Wilkes Booth.

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