You add as much harm to the world when you take offense as when you give offense. - Ken Keyes

The point of this saying is that when we take offense, we may become angry and resentful and then lash out irresponsibly. It encourages us to avoid letting these emotions dictate our actions resulting in adding more harm to ourselves and others. It does not discourage us from seeking justice, being assertive, creating a healthy boundary, or trying to correct a problem. It helps me not to take offense when I meditate on the following incident. I stupidly left my dog in the car on a hot day. I thought I would be back quickly, but the grocery line was much longer than I predicted. When I came back, I found him under the seat shielding himself from the sun rays.  Of course, when I reached for him, the only emotion he exhibited was joy to see me. He had taken no offense at my idiotic mistake. A dog does not take offense. He doesn't even have the capacity for resentment. 


Today I will try to be more like my dog. I will do so because I have learned that anger and resentment are foils to my sobriety and have the potential of hurting others. I will not take offense knowing that the potentially offending person may simply be ignorant or may have had life experiences that have caused him to act in such a way. I will try to understand and empathize rather than take offense. I may seek justice, try to correct a problem, or create a healthy boundary, but I will not take offense because I have accepted that we are all imperfect humans.