Intention and Impact

From Weekly I/O#12

"I will never feel bad for things I said, but I feel bad that people get upset."


I can't find the exact original source but this quote should be from Dave Chappelle, one of my favorite stand-up comedians. This quote is about how he, as a stand-up comedian, think about political correctness. He won't apologize for what he said that may offend people, but he will apologize to those who get offended.

We can always deconstruct an action into its intention behind and its impact. Nowadays political correctness seems to focus mainly on the impact (or we should say the outcome), but not on intention. Public figures apologize because people feel offended by their words regardless of the intention.

This unpopular opinion can be a little bit extreme, but I think, IDEALLY, people don't have to apologize if they don't have bad intentions in those cases. Yes, we should understand each other more to know what may offend some people. However, before we have the chance to understand each other more, our default reaction should be forgiveness. We should learn forgiveness first before teaching everyone why we may feel offended by something other people find innocuous.

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