They have to be aware that the words they choose do harm. When a word becomes ingrained in one's vocabulary, it's difficult to be aware when one uses it without regard to others.

So many words we choose are automatic reactions rather than ones that are productive. We all have to think about the consequences of our words and actions and accept responsibility when they offend others.

However, it's also important to have a civil conversation so that we can understand other people's perspective. We also have to consider the intentions--was this meant to suppress (in this case, yes), or was this person acting from the cultural conditioning?

If we look for occasions to be offended, we'll never be disappointed.

Former TV person, current college professor and media researcher. Ironman triathlete, meditation teacher and yoga instructor.