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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Freedom of speech is a joke

A long time ago we got the right of freedom of speech.  Or so we think.  Just try to speak your mind and see what happens.  Some people are allowed to say anything, they can hurt people, they can make fun of them, they can even humiliate them and they get away with it.  Others are allowed to say nothing.  When they speak their mind, they get slammed.

People say that you are allowed to express yourself as long as it’s in a polite way.  I’m one of them.  I often find myself saying “You have the right to say whatever you want, but do so in a calm way.  Blowing up never a good thing.”
But you know what, that doesn't always work.  

Say, for instance, that someone hurls a rock through your window.  Are you going to calmly go outside and polite say “Excuse me, but you should not have done that.”  No, you’re gonna fly to your front door and scream “What the hell do you think you’re doing!”

Blowing up is human nature.  We can only take so much and when pushed over the line, we strike back.  In that instance we forget our good manners and we forget self-control, we just let fly.

It’s the same with the written word.  If you receive an offensive email or see a message on Facebook that gets you fired up, do you take the time to calm down before replying?  There are times that you can step away from the message, analyze it and reply when cooled down a bit, but most of the time we respond spontaneously.  Call it internal combustion.

I saw a message the other day saying “The only person I can have an intelligent conversation with is myself” – let’s add to that “The only person I can safely criticize is myself”.  Where others are concerned the only thing to do is to shut up. 

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