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We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it. – Abe Lincoln

love-helping-people--large-msg-133072151221It astonishes me how many times I take things personally. The energy it requires to take offense can border on ridiculous.

Don’t get me wrong.

There are times when standing up against something offensive is warranted.

But we, as a society, have taken this too far for the most part.

I’ve spent a good chunk of my life working with vulnerable populations. Within this sector, well-meaning folks have declared certain terms offensive.

For example:

Many a supporter has said to me, “I’m concerned about homeless people and I want to help.”

Some might respond with, “…that offends me, I’d prefer if you said people who are experiencing homelessness.”

Instead of hearing the heart of the one who wants to help, they hear the words that offend them.

Ironically, those whom I have met living on the streets, refer to themselves as homeless people.

Yes, it’s important to not intentionally and maliciously offend, but it’s equally important to not be easily offended.

And so, I want to be someone who hears the heart behind the words.

Don’t you?