Freedom Of Speech?

“They taped over your mouth, scribbled out the truth with their lies, your little spies…”

(Crush – Paramore)

While taken out of context to the song’s intention. Nothing has ever held more truth for me than that line.

Why is it that we allow our mouths to be taped shut and our voices never heard above a tentative whisper whilst others roar the revised standards of the day from rooftops no matter how far off base they may be? We allow zealots of popular theory to ‘manage’ us and drown out our viewpoints for fear that if we rock the boat we may be thrown overboard.

Have you ever stopped to wonder if perhaps the solution lies in doing just that? Do you really want to go down with a sinking ship because you were too scared to stand up and point out the iceberg? Sometimes you need to take a deep breath and be the one to jump first.

I still teeter on the railing at times myself, unsure, and held back by the ‘sink or swim’ aspect of raising my voice against a notion or theory. What will people think? What if they reject what I have to say and as a result me too?

There are times I’ve hung my head in shame for having seen events unfolding and having done nothing to prevent it. All because I’d bought into the lie that my opinion didn’t count, that mine was just one voice against a multitude.

In the end, who and what you are will eventually speak for itself, and your truth will be known. So why not hold your head up high and own it from the beginning?

Yes, I know. Because it’s frightening and this world is so very intolerant of anyone or anything that goes against the grain. It’s human to be so as we are created to be social creatures and work as a whole. Living on the fringes of popular opinion is lonely.

But do bear in mind that if what you have to say snatches at the edges of their security blankets its only because introspection can be a daunting thought. It’s always far easier to lay the blame at someone else’s door and point the accusing finger in another direction than to look into yourself.

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4 thoughts on “Freedom Of Speech?

  1. Well put! As a social worker, it’s not just part of the job to speak up against injustice and be a voice for the vulnerable and oppressed populations, it’s a way of life. But it can get scary. There are bullies out there who are bigger and meaner than me and won’t hesitate to resort to violence when someone threatens the dominant social paradigm, even when that paradigm is wrong. Whenever I get scared about speaking up against an injustice, I try to remember Martin Luther King, Jr., and his martyrdom. The man received death threats all the time up, and despite his fear, despite the fact that he had his family depending on him, he soldiered on and did what was the right thing to do. Discrimination still exists, unfortunately, but his work against it made huge progress and rippled out to help social change in other areas too. I regret that he had to make the ultimate sacrifice to do it, but whenever I’m feeling scared to speak up, thinking of him and his martyrdom for the cause helps. If he can give his life for speaking out against oppression, then a few meanies and bullies and attempts to intimidate me don’t seem half as bad in comparison.

  2. Timidity and shyness have stalked me most of my life. However, the older I get the easier it is to speak up, even though I still blush and feel shaky when I do so. But, if we do not raise our voices, as our conscience implores us to, then we are being false to ourselves.

    If all the women of the world banned together and spoke out against abuse in all its forms, we could change things once and for all.

    • Thank you for reading 🙂

      And yes, I know exactly where you’re coming from as I used to be exactly the same. These days when I hold to silence it’s usually due to having learned which battles to choose rather than not wanting to speak up.

      I like that line…being false to ourselves…because that’s really what it boils down to doesn’t it?

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