Are we becoming too sensitive?

Steven Barnum, Courier Staff

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In most cases, our society is becoming too sensitive.

I will never fault us for our passions. There is no shortage of that quality, when it comes to standing up for inequality or for causes that we believe in. It’s a very useful trait to have in politics or in the workforce, and it shows that we are trying to make the world a better place.

This becomes an issue when we don’t respect those with differing viewpoints. We should be capable of having rational discussions without claiming that the other person is wrong simply because they aren’t as compassionate. If we can’t do this, then we will always have the reputation for letting our feelings get the best of us.

You can still care about the environment, or about how many people are living below the poverty line or about the injustice in the criminal justice system, all of these things I care about too. Don’t let me stop you from being active and engaged. But make sure to fight for the cause, not for your feelings.

To me, it’s more important to be charismatic than sensitive. This way, I can have strong beliefs but I won’t take down anyone who disagrees with me. You may not like what you hear or get what you want, but you can still hold your beliefs while respecting others.

I am especially disappointed when our sensitivity boils over to the entertainment world. We had heard uproar when Michigan State coach Tom Izzo yelled at one of his players. With everything that we could be putting our energy towards, I don’t think that we should be concerned or upset about a basketball player’s feelings.

There’s also an upward trend of college campuses banning certain controversial comedians and speakers from performing. Whether you are a fan of that person or not, it is much more effective and reasonable to just not show up than it is to try to ruin their career.

If someone offends me, I would distance myself from that person. If a show offends me, I would change the channel. It’s much easier to take this approach. I don’t always have thick skin; I once let people anonymously bully me on Ask.fm like many of you probably did. It was tough, but learning not to take everything so seriously does wonders for your happiness.

Political correctness will make people fear speaking freely and directly. We won’t progress as a society if we discourage everyone from being honest. Personally, I’m careful of what I say every day because I don’t want to be a jerk, but that doesn’t mean that I want to take someone else’s right to be their true self away.

I want to live in a society where we can do and say what we want as long as it doesn’t intentionally harm others. Everybody has different perspectives and beliefs. We talk a lot about being tolerant, so I think that it’s important that we actually show it.

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