Is unrestricted speech scarier than its suppression?
Yesterday I’ve learned that the graduation exam in Croatian secondary schools isn’t as it was when I attended it. I knew that they made some changes a few years after my generation finished but I was still surprised to learn that they’ve made so many. And I’m not that old, too. J Why am I telling you that? Because I had the opportunity to talk to a young high school student who is preparing for her graduation exam and she explained me the process and how to write essays. All of you know what it means to write school essays, using as many phrasal words as you can, connecting two or more sentences using the right linking words, punctuation marks… It’s like someone is asking you to connect the irrational and realistic at the same time. So it’s much more formal than what we are trying to do when blogging, and keeping things simple and in a casual tone.
Then she continued to explain the form of writing. You need to start with one sentence to introduce your readers to the topic, where you can use a famous quote, a rhetorical question or just your own line. Then you have to explain pro arguments in one paragraph and con in another, and you have to be careful not to mix them, and in the last paragraph, you need to state your opinion and some kind of solution for the future. I think it’s quite interesting approach to a discussion topic. This inspired us to start talking about possible topics.
The one that interested me the most is Unrestricted freedom of speech is more dangerous to society than its suppression.
Let me start by explaining these two terms. To do so, I used Meriam-Webster dictionary.
Suppression - the conscious intentional exclusion from the consciousness of a thought or feeling
Unrestricted (speech) - not bound by rigid standards
I had the opportunity to see both types of personality during my life but I wanted to listen to her opinion. It’s interesting to see and hear the opinion of a teenager. She said that her first opinion was something like how can something be more dangerous. I was a bit confused, but then she explained – if something is dangerous, then it is dangerous and there is that. No more, no less.
I understand her point of view but still, I want to think about it, to check it with you, my dear readers, if you had to choose one of it, what would it be? Would it be unrestricted speech or suppression?
It’s like we live in a world where everybody on a daily basis tells you to stay quiet and do what you are told. But if you experience a person who is offensive and rude and not only once but periodically then you have to ask yourself, where is their sense of silence and why aren’t they using it. To support a thesis on being quiet, I’ve found my top 3 famous quotes in which, in just one line, is extremely good explained why it is best to say nothing at all.
1. When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.
2. Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
3. Open your mouth only if what you’re about to say is more beautiful than silence.
And when I think about the unrestricted speech I’m not just thinking of occasionally staying quiet when someone tests your patience, I’m thinking of saying whatever you want, whenever you want it. Imagine, walking to an office in the morning and your colleague says: “You look like a cargo ship in those pants.” Yes, thank you for being honest but would it hurt you to be more polite?
Things are looking really bad in the world nowadays if you ask me. We have a huge gap between the poor and the rich, and it’s getting bigger and bigger, day by day. To be honest, I occasionally feel frightened when I see the news, especially when I hear and see the actions of people who are supposed to be the ones on the top. The situation is similar to the one described by Soren Kierkegaard back in 19. century: “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
But, what if we all stay quiet in these situations that surround us, where will all lead us? So, check out my top 3 against suppression.
1. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King
2. They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
Carl W. Buechner
3. Nothing haunts us like the things we don't say.
The same as in everything, the best thing is to be moderate. Say what you think but think about the others too. But then again, don’t lose yourself because you’ve been too busy trying not to hurt someone.
Through this topic, I want to tell something important to all of you who are on the silent side. Back ago people said that paper can take anything, the same is with blogs and websites now – if you feel like nobody understands you, think twice. There is always someone that will find your words like you were reading their soul, but you just have to expand your audience.
And for you on the unrestricted speech side, don’t be afraid of the bigger population. If you think your voice has to be heard, challenge people's opinion, their perspectives, likes and dislikes. Don’t just surround yourself with people who are the same as you or have the same interests.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
And I would be so happy if, on your way, you would EasyDNNsoutions products. Blog with EasyDNNnews, make statements with pictures using EasyDNNgallery, put us in the place of an event using EasyDNNmaps and inform everyone you know using EasyDNNmailchimp!