Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Freedom of Speech?

My lack of blogging in general is almost a feature of this blog. There are lots of reasons for this, you know, life getting in the way. But also I find myself thinking of something I want to write about and then analysing all the people who might disagree, judge me, be offended or hurt, by what I have to say. And so I don't write anything.

Now I actually think that is a good thing in a way. I don't want to write things that have a negative impact on the people who read them. I definitely don't want to stridently communicate my opinions as right and everyone should agree with them. I guess over the years I have become acutely aware of the fact that everyone is fighting their own battles and we are all travelling our own paths. Each of us are impacted by life's twists and turns and strident opinion and being certain of myself seems less and less wise and more and more tricky.

I apologised to a friend recently about pressing a fresh metaphorical bruise she is dealing with. You know, those experiences in life which wound and when a certain word or idea or opinion or assumption is made you feel the pain of it. At first it feels as if everything pushes it but slowly less does. Or the pain is less fresh and raw. We all have bruises. And it is impossible to avoid having them pressed or pressing someone elses. Bruises happen, shit happens. It seems to be the stuff of life.

But I don't want to press bruises. And at the extreme end of trying to avoid it, you just say and do nothing and hide away. And for me at the moment I feel like anything I write threatens to hurt. Probably if I am honest I am not so worried about hurting as the idea that someone might not like me or be angry at me for something I say or in the blogosphere, write. Now I know all the stuff about not being responsible for someone else's reactions or feelings. But I think that can often be used as a way of avoiding the complexity of life and as an excuse to rant about whatever you want without thought for the feelings of others. I don't roll that way. I want to love others as I have been loved. I want to tread gently and compassionately and be wise because I have only been on this ball of matter flying through space for a short while and with each turn on its axis, anything could happen. I have not seen much or felt much and my perspective and thoughts now are just that. Now. Temporary and always retractable or incomplete.

As I have thought about all of this I have realised that I have lots of bruises. Some are so faded that I often forget they are there, while others are still painful and blue. And I guess when I find them pressed, usually unintentionally, I have to choose what to do. It is good to say it hurts. It is good to acknowledge the wound. But then I have to work out whether to hide away to avoid the pain or to take another risk.

For some bruises I have had to protect myself because there is a certain inevitability with some situations or people where I know it will hurt a lot and often and there is no benefit to it. For others it is good to face the pain and let it just become part of the background. Somehow the pain gets integrated and becomes a scar which I own as part of my identity and that is ok. And for others it is a mixture.

So I guess I don't really believe in freedom of speech. At least not thoughtless speech. Sometimes we need to hear painful things and sometimes no one can prevent it hurting. But sometimes it is worth it to realise that no matter what I think about something, it is not simple and my opinion and thoughts aren't going to help. So it is best not to say or write anything. And maybe after a few more turns of the axis things may seem clearer and it might be a better time. Or not.

1 comment:

  1. Very good points.. There is the saying "no great man [probably not that gender specific] was without his enemies". The more passionate you are about a subject the more you are going to "offend" people who disagree. But on the other hand you may help more people by becoming an expert.
    This society has become expert at trying not to offend. Has it meant that less people are passionate?