Do You Want to Be Powerful or Empowered (Because You Can’t Have Both)?

in #life3 years ago (edited)

“The best revenge is living well”, someone once said. So well, I might add, that one does not even think of her offender.

And yet thinking of our offender seems to be about all that some in our society can do today.

But, truthfully, I can’t relate. I can’t remember the last time that I was truly offended by someone. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I disagree with people all the time, and they often disagree with me. I participate in some passionate debates, but my opponent almost never “offends” me, at least not anymore. I might deem her to be ignorant or ill-informed or asleep, but why would those shortcomings offend me? Or, I might deem her to be brilliant, in which case I might learn something. Why would that offend me?

Taking offense is, it seems to me, one of the most childish of traits. Only a child is so invested in controlling the thoughts, opinions and beliefs in another person’s mind, or at least in controlling the outward expression of those things, that she is outraged when another actually exercises intellectual autonomy. Only a child is so uncertain of her position or identity that she must shame or coerce others into ratifying it, or at least into hiding or disguising their refusal to do so.

And alas, we’ve raised a whole generation (and going now on two) to be intellectual children! We’ve taught them that others have a duty not to offend their unique and special sensibilities. We’ve taught them that such sensibilities are not just entitled to deference from others but even to adoration and celebration. Others are to blame whenever you are offended, we have taught them.

Not only are you entitled to your beliefs, but you are entitled to have those beliefs honored by others. And if those others don’t share them, then they must at least remain silent and adopt them out of courtesy and deference while in your presence. If not, then they are being extremely “rude” and you must attempt to silence the “offenders” or the “haters” through shaming or even compulsion. Don’t hesitate to demand that teachers and politicians do the dirty work for you!

Do you have nontraditional views about gender identity? Not only are you entitled to those views, but you are entitled to have others reflect your views back to you. If they don’t, you should be righteously outraged and demand their submission.

Do you believe that people should be able to come to American in violation of its immigration laws and without risk of deportation or other sanction? You’re not only entitled to those beliefs, but you’re entitled to call anyone who disagrees with you a “racist” or a “xenophobe” and to demand that they be silenced.

Do you believe that men enjoy special, unfair privileges that are not offset by additional burdens? Then not only are you free to believe that, but you should shame anyone who challenges your opinion as “misogynistic”, a “hater”, and/or as a proponent of “the patriarchy”.

Over the last two decades we have used our children in a grand social justice experiment. We believed that we could reform society by raising little social justice warriors. Consequently, we’ve not taught our children to be happy and confident individuals, but rather to be constantly frustrated, disaffected and depressed SJWs.

As a consequence, they live lives of near constant offense. They feel constantly insecure and “attacked” just because someone else has a different worldview than then do. They feel threatened and anxious whenever they experience diversity of opinion. Despite that we live in the most peaceful and prosperous time in world history, our children are anxious, dissatisfied and dysfunctional.

Is this really what we want? For instance, do we really want to be teaching our daughters that they should feel threatened, offended and anxious anytime someone looks at them for more than five seconds? (Netflix just this week announced a new policy in response to the #metoo movement where nobody on film sets may gaze at another person for more than five seconds. No kidding!). Can somebody explain to me how the hell that’s supposed to create powerful women?

No! A powerful person is one who recognizes, or who at least has been taught to recognize, that offense is taken, never given—that offense is within her control. A powerful person is secure enough in her own beliefs that she need not demand the world reflect them back to her. Consequently, she can engage in debate without resorting to labels and name calling. A powerful person is one who has been taught to recognize the opportunity and influence that come from others attention or affection, and how to wield those things with grace and compassion. A powerful person knows how to take care of herself in the world and doesn’t need teachers, politicians, parents or other “superiors” to enforce deference to her childish sensibilities.

In short, the “empowerment” movement has it all wrong. We shouldn’t be looking to raise “empowered” people, but powerful ones! Empowered people receive deference to their agenda only because some superior imposes the requirement. To be “empowered” is to be the passive recipient of power, to have power bestowed by some superior. By contrast powerful people earn their societal influence directly. They are not reliant upon another to enforce deference to their sensibilities but instead earn a following of others by their great presence and example.

A powerful person isn’t outraged when someone gazes upon her for more than five seconds, but a wannabe empowered one is. A powerful person isn’t offended when an outsider adopts the accoutrements of her culture, but a wannabe empowered one is. A powerful person isn’t outraged when someone refuses to bake her a wedding cake, but a wannabe empowered one it.

In short, offense and outrage are anchored in a childish, egoic desire to control what happens in other people’s minds—what they think, what they believe, and certainly their opinions of us. Living a life of constant offense and outrage is a result of seeking to control the uncontrollable. As a result it is is frustrating, depressing and disempowering. It inhibits personal growth and freedom in the most insidious of ways.

So, rather than teaching our children to be snowflakes who are easily offended, and to appeal to higher authorities to assuage their outrage, we should instead be teaching them that offense is always taken, never given. Every feeling of offense is an opportunity to reflect inward. Why do you need the approval of others, we should ask? Why must others accept your views in order for you to be fulfilled or content. Perhaps if you were secure enough in your conception of Self, you wouldn’t feel compelled to demand that others reflect it back to you? Don’t you feel like you’re capable of persuading people to your way of thinking without shaming or coercing them?

Those are the questions we should be asking our children and each other. That’s the life training we should all receive. But, since an entire generation has been consciously deprived of it, we’ve much work to do.


"offence is always taken, never given". WOW!! That stuck!!!

Indeed, this generation has been really deprived of the most important knowledge, making us either learn the very hard way, or live the most pathetic lives. I read stuff like this a lot, I look for messages like this to heal my mentality, I love to make sense of them. But it's sickening, that it would take a rather deeper cut to bring some to see. I'm so sorry..

I could mark one more difference today...
I don't like to take offence for my peace and sanity's sake, but now I know that's the bleakest way to see it, offence is never given!!

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

" I participate in some passionate debates, but my opponent almost never “offends” me " - This a very rare trait my man. I hope you nourish it.

We live in time and age where people no longer know or understand as to what criticism means and what they could do with it, if it were offered to them. Taking offense is the new favorite thing to do so much so that even a hint of it and one might be accused to trying to infringe on freedom of others. As if freedom were cheap prostitute waiting to hinge a ride a on one's wagon at his/her whim.

Yes, the most important thing is never affect by words of other and if you are affecting by words of others for sure then for sure you don't have any control on yourself and in turn you can easily influenced and then people can find you in negative debates. And literally this situation is not good for us and when we hear some words which really hurts us then we have to control our emotions and we should not give any chance to words of others to affect us.

And all these art of not offending are teachings and we should pass this art to children and younger generation because then it will encourage the healthy thoughts and healthy conversational environment.

Thanks for sharing this post with us and wishing you an great day. Stay blessed. 🙂

Rationing the viewing of women sounds very Talibanny to me.

Hello dear i draw this portrait for your friend @lukestokes and you are the next i will draw one for you.

I think: Some explanations in this paper teach about the way and take an action. Starting from a few questions that became the main concept in this explanation. Why have to be like this? and why should be so. So, in my opinion: I would rather agree to give the children the impression. There are no big rules that haunt them. Let them be free to be themselves and create what they want. There is no coercion, there is only freedom. Emotionally, children who are full of excessive actions will feel depressed and stressed out. give them a chance to explore themselves and find their true identity. The role of parents is as advisors, protectors, supporters, and directors.

Thanks.... @sean-king !

I feel happy to be following your spectacular writing. Love for us all.

@ponpase 😊

So they think if a person gazes to another person for few seconds this is some sort of sexual harassment or assault? That's crazy! What direction is all this going?

If words don't affect you, in what a colourless, meaningless world you live! Bearing the emotive force of words without hurt, that requires real overwhelming strength or else imperturbable morale, which I very much doubt you or I have to such a degree as to not feel hurt at anything. So take offense, it is perfectly right to and if you couldn't, something must be wrong with you. Take offense, give offense and do not unduly lower the threshold between politics and physical force, because community lives in the space where we can disagree without resorting to physical force to express and resolve our differences.

Living a life of constant offense and outrage is a result of seeking to control the uncontrollable.

It is the same as using temper tantrums and pouting to get your way. It is a passive aggressive tactic (or as I like to rephrase: 'covert aggression'), and it is violence and assault of the worst kind. While everyone is trying to soothe the pouting person, they will never be satisfied. It is indeed a slippery slope that this is heading down.

Thank you for your post.

alot of people are easily offended in this day and age even from simple disagreements i wish more people could have debates without getting offended that the other person has a different opinion to them :P Great post @sean-king. I hope you have a lovely day :)

Mel Xx

And this is a special and humble portraits hope you accept it and like it.
This is for you and your wife:
And this is for your wife:

Hello dear i draw this portrait for your friend @lukestokes and you are the next i will draw one for you.

And this is a special and humble portraits hope you accept it and like it. This is for you and your wife: And this is for your wife:

I couldn't have said it all better... The empowerment and #metoo movements are always making me chuckle - and goodness, how many arguments did I have with girlfriends of mine who claim to have been at a disadvantage all their lives. "What disadvantage?!!" I always want to scream. We are the most spoiled, entitled, self-centered generation ever - and yet, you keep on whining... And Netflix - we finally cut it off. My husband wanted to do it long time ago, but I insisted on keeping it - until eventually the agenda-driven BS was too much to handle over a supposedly relaxing glass of wine after dinner. End of rant. Lol. Thank you for this article.

Absolutely brilliant synopsis. Well stated and much needed. I will definitely be resteeming and hoping more people see this excellent read @sean-king.

On a related note, last winter I put up the following articles that delve into some of the nefarious aspects of the #MeToo movement and the use of child exploitation by corrupt elite entities in order to sow chaos and push divisiveness within society. I hope more people look into these matters and inform themselves fully in order to understand how truly evil some of the people behind these agenda driven issues really are. Thanks once again for your excellent post Sean.

#MeToo – A Course In Deductive Reasoning: Separating Fact From Fiction Through The Child Exploitation Of 8 Year Old Bana Alabed

Now Playing on Dtube: Hollywood Caught Exploiting Eight Year Old Daughter of Terrorist in Syria For Women's Empowerment Movement at Oscars 2018 Ceremony (Note: Simon and Schuster paid for her trip to the US.)

The pendulum goes one way, to one extreme, and then, trying to correct things, goes into another extreme.. and is again not centered/balanced.
This happens all the time, on various levels, or within various spheres of society.

I agree with pretty much everything you wrote, and have raised two powerful individuals....kickass human beings, instead of empowered snowflakes, so... yeah, I agree.