“Try to please everyone, and you’ll please no one.”
“If you try to please everyone, you will fail.”
“You can’t please everyone.”
They’re age old adages, but they’re timeless and true.
So why, all of a sudden, are people forgetting them?
Take the recent “mural controversy” at Pilgrim High School. A media frenzy broke out when school administrators painted over a portion of a mural depicting a man and woman joined in marriage.
Albeit a knee-jerk reaction from school administrators, the decision to remove what was meant to be a harmless depiction of a boy’s journey to adulthood caused people to cry “foul.”
Pilgrim administrators refuse to comment on the issue.
But why? They’re afraid to elicit more displeasure from the general public. It’s somewhat understandable – they’ve made one wrong turn and don’t want to make another. So they hope it will blow over, and not transition into another Cranston West fiasco, which for now, it hasn’t.
Both the initial decision and the maintained silence from the school scream “political correctness.”
There is a notion in our present day culture that everything has to be kosher. Well, probably not kosher, because that has Jewish connotations and not everyone is Jewish.
Because of this notion, the scenarios we find ourselves in on a daily basis become more and more difficult to navigate. Can we label people, even ourselves, with qualifiers? Does calling a girl beautiful come out sounding sexist?
What we can say and discuss without the fear of being persecuted for offending even a minute offshoot of society is growing smaller each day.
This editorial in itself could be condemned – the writer is not aiming to please every reader.
But that is what makes the world go round. People are different. Isn’t that a lesson in itself?
We’ve become a hypocritical society as of late. Television shows for tweens and adolescents urge acceptance and tolerance. Anti-bullying messages are everywhere, and parents bemoan each and every schoolyard jeer or shove, citing them as permanently damaging.
We, as a society, are simultaneously micromanaging and contradicting ourselves. Let’s not forget that every encounter, pleasant or confrontational, is a lesson in being human. We cannot shut out people or lifestyles unlike our own, yet we cannot do and be everything that everyone else is. We must learn to accept or disagree, and move on.
Pleasing everyone is an ideal, a concept of perfection. And nobody is perfect.