North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

March 14, 2014

Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

NORTH JEFFERSON — I probably work in the wrong profession to hate political correctness, but I do. I can’t stand it when I feel as if I need to walk on eggshells all the time to keep from hurting people’s feelings. I don’t try to be excessively offensive, but people are so easily offended these days, it’s almost impossible not to tick someone off by everything that you say or do.

If you want to know if you’re like me, post a few of your real feelings on Facebook and see what the responses are. I fear if I put everything that came through my mind on social media, the government would probably arrest me for being a free thinker.

I understand that some things are over the line, and there are lines that do not ever need to be crossed, but when we get so technical that we can’t say that our school mascot is the Indian, then we’ve gone too far on our political correctness. If you are that sensitive about your heritage, then I can assure you that you’d never have to worry about having lunch with me without walking away completely bitter and angry.

I’m a light-hearted person and I find it makes life much more enjoyable if I’m not just looking for ways to be offended. Some of these groups are seeking to find people to be ticked off at, and if you look hard enough, I’m sure you’ll find it.

I’m not going to pull any punches, if my kids went to a school with the Redskins as the mascots, I’d cheer as loud as any other mother for them. Really, if we are being honest, I’d much rather my child’s school mascot be an Indian than a red devil or a blue devil... I don’t care for my child to be refered to as a devil, so if we are just putting it all out on the table, it would probably serve us better to leave well enough alone and let these schools keep their mascots that they’ve had for over 50 years and just get over it.

I would never start a war on a school because they were the devils; my husband and my mom were both Blue Devils and they seem to have turned out pretty well. The same goes for all of the poor children with the Demon Deacons, Hillbillies, Orphans, White Faces or Midgets as their mascots. (Yes, all of those are real school mascots in the United States.) There are much worse mascots, but I decided to keep it a little politically correct for this column. The point is that the world is full ways for you to be offended, you have to choose if things are worth the battle. I personally would never go to blows over the fact that some mascots for schools are a little off color. I’ll save my battles for life-altering choices that could affect the health or actual well-being of those around me.

I’ve never been accused of being politically correct, but I do know when to watch my mouth. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t care about other people’s feelings. It’s important not to do things for the sole purpose to being mean or rude. Be careful what you say around people who are easily offended. It’s never been my intent to hurt someones feeling by the things I’ve said or written.

It’s no secret that if you want to be my friend or hang around my circle, then you’ve got to have thick skin. Every time we hire a new person in our office, we let them know right up front that we are a tough crew to be around and we are going to upset you and irritate you sometimes, but if we are being honest, we all get upset and irritated at times. Just try not to be so sensitive that you get out of your tree over every little thing that comes down the pipe.

Just this past weekend one of my daughters brought me a cute little note she had found in her bedroom. She gave it to me during a birthday party at our house so there were people all around and it was quite rowdy at our house. When I read the note, my face immediately went from smiles to seriousness. It said in huge letters, “I DO NOT like Mom.” Man, that will really hurt a mother’s heart. So after some detective work I figured out which daughter it was and we had a little talk in the bedroom.

I didn’t get offended or go crazy on her head (like I really wanted to), but instead I talked to her about how it affected me and how it affected her. She apologized and informed me that she had written it a long time ago after she had gotten in trouble. (She admitted that only after trying to convince me that it was suppose to say I LOVE mom... yeah right.) If I were an easily offended person, I would have been in pieces over that note, but because I know she is young and her little actions overload her mind sometimes, I was able to make it a lesson on how we treat people. Later at the party I showed it while laughing to my sister and grandmother... any mom knows that there are days your kids aren’t going to be your biggest fan.

So keep everything in perspective. Put down your defenses and don’t let everything that you don’t like be a stumbling block for the rest of your day. Your attitude will determine your reaction and most of the time, a reaction isn’t even necessary. Let some stuff roll off your back. Not only will the people around you be happier, I can guarantee that you will be a much happier person yourself.