I’m afraid of offending people. Which is funny because it seems to me I often go out of my way to do just that, in the name of sincerity or honesty (which aren’t the same thing), or just out of old-fashioned ignorance.
After complimenting someone on her charitable work, I immediately asked if she ever got discouraged by being unable to effect any substantial improvement in the world. It was an honest question, and not meant as anything else. For all I know, that’s how it was taken. But of course I immediately assumed she would think I was making fun of her, that my original compliment was insincere, that I’m just a asshole.
It’s just one example of many. So much is based on interpretation, and as I’ve said, I’m in constant fear of being misinterpreted.
But that’s life.
Interpret this. Some reasons you might hate me:
- I think the death penalty, in almost all cases, is institutionalized vengeance and is unnecessary.
- I think marriage—from a societal standpoint—has become a meaningless concept, and as such, I don’t care if gay people want to walk down an aisle and share dental benefits.
- I’m anti-abortion. (I think the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are at best lazy speech, and at worst signs of lazy thought.)
- I believe in marriage and monogamy and life-long commitment.
Most importantly (for purposes of hating me): with varying degrees of certitude and significance, I believe my views are correct.