Embrace, Not Ban… Knowledge is Power

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “No, Thank You.” If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

This prompt really strikes a cord with me, which you would guess if you have read any of my past postings. I am a pro-liberty, pro-free speech kind of person who would never support banning a word.

clker.com
clker.com

Once the powers that be start banning words, controlling speech and ideas, re-writing history, and limiting individual freedoms, society has started to give away their ability to think, express, and interact with others the way they see fit, whether they offend someone or not. Wait a minute, I think I’m too late because this has already started happening!

books.simonandschuster.com
books.simonandschuster.com

Likely my opinion offends someone, just as someone else’s opinion likely offends me, but that’s fine. I can learn from someone with whom I disagree, and may learn more from that person than from someone with whom I agree, because I will have to consider a difference experience, knowledge base, lifestyle or culture, even if I still decide to keep my original opinion. I can try my best to see life from someone else’s point of view but I can never be that person – I am not in his/her skin, wearing his/her clothes, walking in his/her shoes, anymore than someone can be me but we can connect on a human level and attempt to meet each other where we are.

I am not for erasing the past because each of us has one, but I am for the truth of what really happened, sharing the truth, and learning from it so I can teach someone else a truth that may prevent future mistakes, whether mine or someone else’s. Part of the problem is that the truth often gets distorted, especially on the grand scale of life and society. Looking up the history of something can be tough because everyone who has written an article or a book has an agenda, just like the politicians that pull form history to perpetuate their policies and the news outlets that create a buzz worthy story so that we flip to their channel.

Banning a word will never fix any problem and will, in fact create more problems. Banning items and pieces of history doesn’t take back what has happened, and it creates disrespect when it was mean to solve a problem of disrespect. We need more expression not less. We need real people to think for themselves and share their ideas with others, rather than looking to people who are trying to tear us apart when we should be banding together against the injustices they are pushing upon us.  Americans should be coming together to fight back against government policies that are hurting all of us rather fighting each other. We should be protecting our rights, instead of give our rights away.

moviepostershop.com
moviepostershop.com

If you haven’t read George Orwell’s book “1984“, I highly recommend it. I read it a few years ago and I was amazed to notice some of the trends in both the book and current society. This book talks about BIg Brother, cameras watching you everywhere you go, “Thought Police’, people being disappeared, government propaganda… it might shock you when you realize what is going on in our world today. Another book I would suggest is “Fahrenheit 451” By Ray Bradbury. It hurt me very much as a lifelong reader and lover of books, and it scares me to think that many important books could be altered, erased, and /or eliminated because they provide knowledge that is inconvenient for us to know because knowledge is power, as the saying goes.

Don’t ban books, words, thoughts, art, history, statues, flags, etc. Embrace the freedom to share with and learn from others before we no longer can.

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

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NEVER…

In response to The Daily “Post’s writing prompt: “Never.” What will you never write about.

I believe in freedom of speech, expression, religion, being yourself, dressing in your own style, and making your own choices. I will not write in support of censorship or of taking away natural rights.

As the Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I realize that this is and has been considered a very loaded statement. I am aware of the history of the United States of American and the fact that this statement has not always been fully representative of all legal citizens of this country. The part I want to focus on is the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” To me this means that I should have the opportunity to pursue things that will make me happy but I am guaranteed nothing.

Having a blog and being able to express myself is within my pursuit of happiness, as well as my liberty. Word Press offers an outlet for my expression, which is sometimes therapeutic for me, but that does not mean I am owed attention by others, that others will even read what I have to say or that I will gain anything tangible from writing. It only means that, like it or not, I can saw what I want and how I want for as long as I want, period.  I have a right to be alive until I either die or someone takes my life away. I have, or should have, the right to make my own choices, as long as they are not criminal, put others in harm’s way and I feel that other should as well.  With the freedom of speech and expression we can all say or do something offensive to someone else at times and they, in turn, can say or do something that offends us.  As Voltaire said, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” And, as Oscar Wilde said, “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”  I whole-heartedly agree with both statements, and I think it is important to listen to what others say, whether we agree or not, because I have learned a lot from others with a different experience.

I am not suggesting that speech which harms or slanders should not be dealt with appropriately, as I also support the right to defend yourself. However, I do caution against the trend of limiting speech and expression because I fear the day when the book 1984 becomes a reality. I hope the time never comes when the art, the history, the literature and so many other aspects of our culture, good and bad, are gone forever, preventing future generations from missing out on the truth.

Quotes found on: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/freedom-of-speech

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell