“Teaching young people how not to be offended is to equip them to embrace people as complex individuals and not just as mascots of this or that tribe,” says Manji. “We grow by engaging those with whom we disagree. When we take offense, we’re in [a] reactive mode, and we miss opportunities to ask people why they believe what they do.”
The 51-year-old educator explains that when she speaks with people who have different opinions, she refuses to be “offended that they’re offended,” and instead tries to find common ground with the person — a lesson that young people could benefit from, she believes.
“Schools should be teaching students the how of not taking offense at everything,” Manji tells Time. “It’s a life skill. No matter what kind of life you have, to tackle nagging problems in your family, with friends, at work, in the wider world, you need buy-in.”