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You are a Controversy Waiting to Happen

Every single thing that everybody does is inexcusable and unforgivable from at least one other person’s point of view. A life of integrity is possible, but a life free from any controversy whatsoever is not.

Even if you don’t see yourself as someone who’s interested in lofty matters like becoming a better person or changing the world, you’re still involved in the business of making choices. And every choice, by its very nature, must be made at the expense of other possibilities. To engage in an activity of any kind means that you are making that particular activity a priority over all the activities you choose not to do. So regardless of what you choose to do or not do, you face the risk of offending people who have different priorities from you.

Much can be said about the topic of dealing with people who find your choices offensive. Sometimes you need to pay attention to them. Sometimes you need to ignore them. Each case is unique. What remains the same in all cases, however, is this simple little fact: your efforts to avoid controversy will not protect you from unfair criticism.

The best way to deal with controversy is not by refusing to engage in any acts of communication and creativity at all, but rather by choosing to engage in those activities with integrity, social intelligence, and compassion. You still may be unfairly criticized, but you’ll be able to respond (or not respond) with a clear mind and a pure heart. Moreover, when it’s your turn to judge others, you’ll be able to do so with the same integrity, social intelligence, and compassion that you’ve learned to practice in your own journey.

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