Imagine for a moment that you are a kid again. Your parents give you the coolest new toy. It has it all! You love it with all of your being and are excited to show it to your friends, but when you do they say it is stupid and ugly. You are mocked for loving the toy, and now the joy you had experienced is tainted by embarrassment. You begin to resent the toy, as it is now a reminder of how stupid the other kids thought it was. Believe it or not, this is exactly the situation Americans find themselves in today.
In the struggle to be politically correct, we often hurt those we are trying to protect by creating resentment. Something as wonderful as people trying to show reverence for the attacks in Paris was sacrificed at the feet of the god of “P.C.” when the people involved were shamed for not showing reverence for other countries that had been attacked. I remember seeing friends of mine become upset to the point of saying “Why do I even bother? Everything I do is wrong.”
That is only one example of many that show we are doing something wrong. The fact that I contemplated writing this anonymously is enough to tell me that we are in danger of losing something really important by focusing on not offending people. We are slowly teaching our children to be afraid of stating opinions, and to accept an attitude of apathy or tolerance over acceptance and diversity of opinion.
A community, just like any other relationship form, requires a lot of communication. When the thought of being politically correct was first conceived it was meant to help aid communication in a way that was respectful to all, but thus far all that I have observed is people using it to tear down others. We point fingers instead of listening to the intention behind the action. Something as seemingly harmless as me offering my black friend a slice of watermelon can be seen as me being a disrespectful racist.
I worry for the future of a country that prefers to be politically correct over simply being kind. I dream of a world where the eggshells disappear from our roads and we are able to return our focus to actively loving each other instead of just avoiding offense.