David Hancock, Staff Writer

Dear users of the English language,

The current definition of the word “triggered” is: (v) to cause (an event or situation) to happen or exist. While this denotation (direct definition) still applies, the connotation (feelings the word invokes) has changed (you’re welcome for the definitions of definition lesson). Thanks to the glorious creation that is memes, “triggered” has become a term often used to describe a flamboyant feminist seeing something that activates, or triggers, her feminist rant.

If me saying triggered has triggered you, calm the heck down. I had Ms. La Rue, so I know all there is to know about feminist and it’s merits and after two years she finally wore me down and I believe it, I guess. Again, if you were triggered, calm the heck down, it was a joke. Ever since I saw Les Miserables and Despicable Me, I know that when I grow up that I want to have a daughter or daughters, and I believe that they can do anything they set their mind to and are strong and smart and beautiful and if anyone disagree I’ll fight them. My imaginary kids are named Melody, Juliet, and Alexa by the way. And I call dibs on those names! If you steal those names I will fight you!

In all seriousness, American society today is too easily triggered. Maybe it’s because I was born a clown and use humor in literally every situation (laughter is the best medicine), but I think it’s a really sad thing when a joke really offends people. Yes, there is a line, and if your joke crosses it not only are you not funny, you’re a jerk too. And yes, I think that if a joke offends you you have the right to be offended. I don’t think, however, that if something offends you that give you the right to fire back at the person or institution that offended you.

When I hear triggered, I instantly picture a gun. And no, I’m not talking about 2nd amendment rights and stuff like that. Don’t get triggered by my trigger. I think of a gun in the sense that our words are weapons, they can hurt. If someone insults you (also known as “shots fired”), intentionally or not, you shouldn’t always fire back. There’s a time and place to stand up for what you believe, make your shots count. Don’t be trigger-happy.

Funny enough, I am very easily triggered. Shocking, I know. You’d think a person who rants on in a blog about anything that comes to his mind would have pretty thick skin. What can I say, I’m just full of surprises. However, when I’m triggered, I follow the example of Alexander Hamilton, who, in a duel, chose to fire his shot into the sky instead of at his opponent. He died that way, but at least he didn’t kill.

Words hurt. I know we live in more of “an eye for an eye” world and less of a “turn the other cheek,” but there’s a certain strength in restraint. If someone says something so insulting that you feel you need to respond to combat their stupidness, think first whether it’s even worth is just to say anything. Most times, it’s not even worth getting upset about. And if it is, it’s not worth fighting someone else over. Point you frustration towards the sky and fire. That way you can still get it out without hurting anyone else.

Lots of times people get trigger over other people’s political beliefs. This annoys the crap out of me. People are gonna believe what they believe, you’re not gonna change that by insulting their beliefs. People say that friends and politics don’t mix, but I completely disagree. If someone doesn’t share your beliefs they’re not gonna listen to you and your reasoning behind your beliefs unless they respect you as a person. Going off on that insensitive idiot in your Spanish class isn’t going to change him, and he probably thinks you’re just as stupid as you think he is. Telling your friend why you support this or that, however, will give them an insight to your reasoning that they can’t get anywhere else.

We need more respect in politics and less triggers (again, not a 2nd amendment thing). We need to listen to each other before we label them as racist, misogynist, hateful, or stupid. Even if you’ve heard it all before, still listen, simply because if you want to say something you deserve to have your voice heard. If you don’t want to be labeled and want to be heard, listen to others first. Be the change you want to see and treat other how you want to be treated.

David Hancock