As I wrote yesterday, my husband and I attended a 5k walk to raise money for NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness). The night before, I checked the weather report and planned what I would wear the next day. I figured, a walk like this is one of the few times it is ok to wear stretchy pants in public and I should layer shirts and top it off with a cozy sweatshirt. It was this last decision that kept me up that night.
My all time favorite, big and cozy sweatshirt was purchased years ago at my son’s day care fund-raiser. It says ‘I’m Grumpy’ and has a picture of the dwarf in question on it. As I started to fall asleep, I began to wonder…..would wearing this sweatshirt be considered insensitive to anyone dealing with depression or bipolar disorder??? This actually kept me up for hours. I ultimately decided that it was just a dwarf and it isn’t like the other side of the shirt said ‘I’m Happy’, or anything.
On the ride into Atlanta, this topic sparked a conversation with my husband about my frustrations with political correctness. When did we become a society that is so extremely sensitive to every little thing? When did we become so self-involved that we think somebody’s t-shirt is directed at us? I have to admit, there are certain things that bother me. When people use a diagnosis as a punchline, for example. Like when people say ‘you are so bipolar’ or ‘you are so schizophrenic’ to somebody that changes their mind often. Clearly they don’t know what each diagnosis means and they are using it out of context. But if somebody says ‘you are acting crazy’, that doesn’t bother me….crazy is a descriptive term, not a diagnosis.
So I decided that my Grumpy sweatshirt makes me happy and it makes me feel cozy and comfortable. I do not wear it in an effort to offend anyone….and truly, if anyone is offended, that is their challenge, not mine. I don’t feel that we should have to censor our lives to make everyone around us feel comfortable. Am I saying that I will knowingly do or say something hurtful? No, that’s not the type of person I am. But should we all have to walk on eggshells or apologize for everything that other people may find offensive? I don’t think so. I regret losing sleep about something so silly….but this world has made it such a big deal.