As I sat in one of my college classes this semester, one of the first things my teacher discussed was his disclaimer for the course. His words were something along the lines of, "I will offend each and every one of you before this semester is over." One of my other teachers followed suit the next day and delivered the same message. I was a bit shocked that both of these teachers would openly announce something like this. Most of my teachers in the past tried to stay relatively objective and keep their opinions to themselves, so this was a bit of a foreign concept. This got me thinking about what it means to be offended and what, if anything, good can come of it. After thinking it over, I've came to the conclusion that it can be good to be offended.
Most people view being offended as a bad thing. Why would you want to hear something that upsets you, something that calls into question some of your beliefs? The problem that arises as a result of this kind of thinking is that you only surround yourself with people that share the same opinions as you. If you don't open yourself up to people that have other views, you have shut yourself off from the opportunity to learn more about the world around you. Get a debate started, learn more about something you're passionate about by hearing what people from the opposing side have to say. Hearing what they have to say doesn't have to change your mind, but it can make you more tolerant of their beliefs and allow you to learn more about the topic as a whole.
Being offended can also be beneficial because it can help you realize why you have your beliefs in the first place. If somebody calls your views into question and you get offended, it's probably because you have a certain reasoning behind holding the beliefs that you do. If you can't pinpoint your rational behind your opinions, why even be offended in the first place?
In conclusion, I believe that being offended can help you realize what is important in your life and possibly open you up to debates that can help you learn more about the world around you. This isn't to say that you should be offended by everything. In fact, in some ways we are a hypersensitive generation and seem to be vexed by everything. However, I believe that if you do become offended you should allow your reaction to help benefit you and allow it to be a good thing, not a bad thing.