I was given invaluable advice by Dr. St. Clair while working for my degree in Religious History at UNC Charlotte: “Do not view myth as right or wrong, but in how it shapes a person or group’s worldview. If you take this approach you will be able to listen to someone’s beliefs, appreciate and develop a better understanding of them.”
I have practiced this faithfully throughout my life which is why I have a diverse group of friends. I have worked to be accepting of straight, gay, black, white, Asian, Muslim, Atheist, Christian, intelligent, ignorant, drunk, sober, users, Republican, Democrat, etc. This approach has put me at the edge of many arguments, watching friends do conversational battle over one topic or another, trying to convince the other to convert their belief system or pointing out how each are wrong. Eventually someone gets their feelings hurt or gets offended.
I get caught up arguing sometimes, but then pause and ask myself if I am debating or learning; arguing or listening. There is a difference. I am not easily offended because I try to refrain from getting defensive and I don’t take myself too seriously. I think those who are easily offended need to laugh more.