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
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