Unfocused
"No offense"….really.

When people attach a qualitative “no offense” to their comments, I find that the phrase can actually attach a degree of offensiveness to the adjoining statement. Hearing these two words immediately has me thinking, “what about their statement was interpretable as offensive?” Having determined that, I actually do take a bit of offense, because now I realize that their statement was intended as a possibly offensive criticism. (I admit, sometimes I can miss these sorts of intended meanings. Though that’s not necessarily for the worse.)

Really, saying “no offense” doesn’t help a person feel less offended. Rather, it merely indicates that the person making the criticism recognizes that the statement could be offensive - and says it anyways.

Take, for example, a group of friends running around on the school soccer field at lunch. One of the group cannot really keep up with the others, and is constantly lagging behind. After the lunch period is over, someone else walks over, intending to inform him of this. He could say:

"You’re a really slow runner."

That would be to blunt, to the point, and could probably offend the recipient of the criticism. So, to “avoid” this, he instead says:

"No offense, but you’re a really slow runner."

In my opinion (and possibly only mine, since people don’t seem to care about this phrase), the addition of the phrase “no offense” in this example doesn’t really help to soften the negative impact of the statement. And in more cases than not, I’ve seen the phrase used like this, in the contexts of either:

"No offense, but ______ (insulting statement)"

Or, ”______ (insulting statement). No offense, though.”

Regardless, I don’t like it used like that. It would probably be better to withhold the possibly offensive phrase than to say it, slapping on the “no offense” as almost an afterthought.

So, next time you’re about to make a statement that you plan on qualifying with the phrase “no offense,” would you be able to do a couple of things before saying it? First, see if you can rephrase the statement so that it does not require the usage of “no offense” to make it inoffensive. Second, take a step back for a moment and determine whether or not the statement is really necessary to be made at all.

Thanks for reading! Who knows, those few seconds of reflection might actually save someone a bit of internal grief.

On conversations and cues…

I’ve really found it hard sometimes to read social cues when conversing with others in our modern society. And this isn’t just with reference to the usage of allusions, insinuations, or Internet memes (yes, these apparently crop up in conversations.) Rather, it seems that the most basic things - when to stop, when to start, when to respond, and when to listen - have the tendency to go right over my head.

I guess the main hurdle for me is starting a conversation. While superficial topics like school and the weather might break the silence, thinking of a viable topic that won’t die after a few exchanges proves to be a challenge for me. Oftentimes, my mind draws a blank and I just fill the entire conversation with shallow silence-breakers…which is the reason why when I reflect on most of my exchanges, my first thoughts are, “Oh dear, what was I thinking?”

Once I’m into the conversation, I have to switch to a new mode…the one where I have to constantly detect cues to determine whether I should add to a comment, or wait for the other person’s follow-up. I’m not too good at this either; I seem to always cut someone off at least once over the course of a conversation.

Ending a conversation, or perhaps figuring out when I should end a conversation, isn’t really my strong suite either. Gracefully finishing an exchange and moving on is something that comes rarely for me - I either go on, and on, and on, and…yes, like that, or I…well, that’s just about it. I don’t think I’ve ever wrapped up a conversation without having a half-dozen cues go right over my head.

I guess conversations for me are a bit like a chess game. On opening, I have no idea what to do, and just do what I think is best without looking ahead. Over the course of the game, I’m throwing pieces right and left, hoping that one of them will cause some positive effect on the game, and eventually, my flurry of piece-throwing is ended abruptly by a sudden checkmate.

Maybe it’s just me. Anyone else feel (remotely) like this?

on your most recent post…

Hey dude, I think it’s really great that you’re not afraid to talk about your faith and that kind of stuff on your blog: that’s very cool. I have a question, though… you said that “in the end, Jesus was nailed to a cross and died.” so does that mean that Christians worship a dead guy? That doesn’t sound very appealing at all. Thanks for blogging!

Oh, whoops! Thanks for pointing that out! You’re right, that doesn’t sound too great at all…I guess I sort of only told half of the basis of the Christian faith. In the Bible, three days after Jesus was crucified and buried, he rose from the grave, despite a huge boulder in front of his tomb and an armed contingent of guards (the Romans were afraid that Jesus’ disciples would go and steal his body away.)

So the Christian faith revolves a lot around the resurrection of Jesus. If one confesses his/her sins and gives them to Jesus to bear, well, Jesus already paid the price of death (and a painful one at that), so that person would be able to go to heaven.

Ahahah…leaving it at Jesus dying does make it sound sort of peculiar…

…Uh…

(Note to reader: this post has a Christian theme. Don’t read it if that will irk you. And I’m not really an eloquent writer. So also don’t read it if that will irk you.)

I had an interesting discussion earlier tonight, which revolved largely around Christianity. (Woohoo, I’m a Christian. By the way.) As we briefly took some time to examine our faith, the topic of non-Christians asking difficult questions about Christianity came up. We actually only really discussed one question (ahaha, poor time management…), but it was an interesting one. One of the members talked about how upon asking one of his friends why he didn’t believe in God, his friend replied with a question: (wording may not be completely faithful to original…)

If an all-loving, completely just God exists, how can he send good people to Hell, even if they were never even told about him and had a chance to be saved?

If we look at this question from the initial perspective, then it would seem completely unfair of God to send those people to Hell. Those people never had a chance to decide whether they wanted to believe in God or not- they would only find out in retrospect, when they stood before God and were judged.

But let’s try looking at this from a different perspective. Though, before doing that…I’m going to take this paragraph to talk about the Christian faith, in order to contextualize my next point. Basically, everyone’s a sinner. (Well, we’ve done at least one wrong thing before, right…?) This sin causes a seperation between us and God, and without God, death is all that is left. (So Hell is, in essence, just eternally being seperate from God.) However, instead of staying up on his throne and just letting everyone go to Hell, God stepped down and sent his son, Jesus, into this world to bear the sins of mankind upon himself. And in the end, Jesus was nailed to a cross and died.

So…yeah. That last paragraph might be the iffy part of this whole post to some people, since it relies so heavily on theological postulates. But continuing on from there, this different perspective suggests that it is actually not unjust for people to go to Hell- rather, it is completely fair and just, since we are all sinners. But God went above merely being just- instead, he gave the opportunity to people to have salvation in Jesus Christ, and go to heaven; he displayed his mercy and love.

I think it might actually be a responsibility of current Christians to make sure as few people as possible are judged before they have a chance to hear about salvation in Jesus. (Not trying to do any onus-shifting here, but Jesus does sort of tell people in the Bible that before he returns on Judgement Day, Christians should try to spread the Gospel as much as possible…) Churches and Christian organizations do send out missions teams all the time in order to do this, but I guess we haven’t really been able to get to everyone yet.

Er…I guess that’s about it. Feel free to dispute anything I wrote, like if I misquoted parts of Christianity or if I wasn’t clear/thorough enough about something. But more often than not, I might only be able to answer with an, “I don’t know”…because it’s kind of hard for people to understand how God works.

(Please note that these are only my opinions [and possibly those of a few others who I was discussing this with], so you don’t have to blow me away with hate mail or stuff like that.)

Finally, I found it! I saw this video a few years ago in French class, and could never find it again. I figure it’ll be a good transition back into english posts. (Yep! Finished my French presentation…then I stopped posting for a while.)

"Thème d’Amour"…euh…je ne sais pas si je peux traduire “Theme of Love” au français. Est-ce que ce titre est un nom propre?

De toute façon, ça c’est une de mes chansons préférées (actuellement). Si même qu’elle est un peu simple, la chanson a une belle mélodie, et elle m’inspire à un sentiment d’affection empreint de tristesse.

Je suis maintenant en train de l’apprendre. (Mais, c’est un peu difficile, parce que je suis arrêté mes leçons de piano huit ou neuf ans auparavant.)

Le train en marche…

Pendant les heures passées, plusieurs de mes amies ont créé des billets sur ses blogues. Alors…maintenant, je veux prendre le train en marche, et aussi créer un billet sur mon propre blogue! Mais de quoi est-ce que je peux parler? C’était toujours un problème pour moi…

Ah! Je sais! Je peux parler de mes avis sur “le train en marche”! (Ce n’est pas très original, oui? Hahaha…mais, c’est le titre de ce billet, alors…) La mode de la société a toujours du changement, et j’ai l’impression que beaucoup de gens ont l’obligation de leur conformer. Mais pourquoi est-ce que les gens font ça? Est-ce que c’est pour le contentement de soi? Ou est-ce que c’est seulement pour être en accord avec tous les autres?

Je ne suis pas psychologue (absolument pas; ça c’est ma soeur), mais c’est seulement un de mes curiosités. J’ai quelques amis qui sont comme ça, qui conforment complètement à la mode. Par ailleurs, je connais aussi des personnes qui ont l’air de ne se soucient pas du tout de la mode de la société. Je les ai tous déjà vu, les deux extrêmes. Les gens peuvent faire ce qu’ils veulent, mais moi, je pense que vous avez besoin d’un équilibre des extrêmes. Voici mon raisonnement:

Si quelqu’un est très obsédé par la mode de la société, il existe le risque de cet individu de perdre son individualité. Et ça, je pense, est très dangereux. Dans une société démocratique, où la qualité clef est l’individualité, la perte de cette qualité serait un désastre. Mais aussi, si quelqu’un ne tient pas compte de la mode de la société, il est très probablement que les autres (qui tiennent de la mode) vont l’écraser sous ses pieds.

Alors, je pense que pour la mode de la société, ou peut-être pour “les trains en marchent” en général, vous devez trouver un équilibre des extrêmes pour réussir.

(Hourrah, le “BonPatron” est un outil superbe! Je vous recommande vraiment pour vos propres compositions du français!)

Oups! J’ai oublié!

Oui, c’est vrai, j’ai oublié que je devais créer plus de billets pour mon blogue! J’aurais raté ma présentation (dans trois jours!) si je n’avais pas vu un billet qu’une amie a mis sur sa blogue (en français, naturellement.) Mais bien que j’ai rappelé que j’ai une obligation de faire des billets pour mon blogue, je n’ai simplement pas du temps pour écrire un billet maintenant. Alors…hum. Alors, quoi? Pour la deuxième fois, je n’ai rien à vous dire.

Hum…ah! Il a neigé le samedi passé! C’est la première fois qu’il a neigé cette année! (Plus exactement, cette année scolaire.) Finalement, on a la neige! Finalement, on a de petits bijoux d’eau cristallisé! (Euh…oui. Hihihi…avez-vous réalisé que je suis un étudiant de BI?) Mais…(oui, il y a toujours un “mais”)…mais, les pauvres oiseaux! Il a neigé avant que les oiseaux ayant eu une occasion de voler à la direction sud. J’espère que la majorité de ces oiseaux survivront l’hiver!

*sanglot*

Aiiiiieeee!!! En écrire ce billet, j’ai gaspillé une demi-heure! Ouaaaah…je vais rater mon test de maths demain…

Mon premièr billet en français…

Oui! C’est comme le titre a dit, ça, c’est mon premier billet en français! Et…maintenant, je n’ai rien de dire. Il n’y a pas beaucoup de choses qui ont passé dans ma vie. Vraiment, ma vie n’est pas tellement intéressante.

Hum…d’accord. J’ai peut-être une chose que je peux partager avec vous. Aujourd’hui, moi et mes copains avons vu une vidéo par Les mères contre l’alcool au volant. C’est une présentation très emotionelle; j’ai été près de pleurer…(Mais seulement près de pleurer. Je n’ai pas vraiment pleuré…peut-être parce que je suis un garçon. Mais, les garçons sont des personnes aussi; qui a créé cette règle stupide qui dit que les garçons ne pleurent pas?)

Euh…bref, la vidéo a nous posé une question: pourquoi?

Pourquoi est-ce que gens intoxiqués décident de conduire des voitures?

Pourquoi est-ce que gens ne pensent pas aux autres?

Pourquoi est-ce que gens font une chose si inconsidérée, si stupide, que ça?

Ça c’est le message que la vidéo a nous donné. Merci pour lire mon billet!

(Et, s’il y a des problèmes avec ma grammaire ou l’orthographe, je m’excuse. Le français n’est pas ma première langue et Google Translate est un service inutile. Euh…oui. Je suis tellement désolé, mais j’ai perdu mon dictionnaire.)

solomontse:

Indeed, I wonder over what.

Erm, I think I took this out of context. Now I’m confused…