We have become an overly-sensitive, too-easy-to-irritate, take-too-many-things-too-seriously society,
Within the last five days, I've had incidents at work, at church, in my family, and on social media, where very simple comments have been met with pursed lips, clenched fists, red faces, and exclamation points. I have been stunned at some of the responses I get from a mild comment.
I think it's partly because of the angry partisan divide we have in this country. I certainly contribute to that with the political talk I do on the radio. Left-right, I'm-right-you're-wrong diatribes make the world of talk these days.
But not every opinion or suggestion, or even mild criticism is aimed at your soul, at your bedrock convictions.
Sometimes it's just a simple opinion. A mild critique. An offer of help in the form of a suggestion.
Half the time I don't think folks even HEAR what's being said. We're all on edge to be angry and find a way to see fault with the mildest comment.
My friend Charlie Shlagel often reminds me "feedback is a gift". When I was acting at the Towngate Theatre, my wonderful old mentor Hal O'Leary always made it clear he didn't take time to criticize your performance if he didn't believe in you enough to think you could do better.
I don't understand why family, friends, work partners want to see the dark side of every comment.