Has freedom of speech been confused over the years for just saying what we want?
At dictionary.com the word speech is defined as power of speaking and oral communication.
Communication…does that just mean talking? Putting down others for their beliefs?
I don’t profess to be a master of this language. I started with English as being my second language and it has turned into my “first and a half” language.
But with all the anger out there with what others are saying and how they are challenging our beliefs, I wonder if we all have lost the capacity to think and listen. You know the other parts of communication that we seem to have hidden away. We let others think for us and we make it our belief and we go talking away at our points. And when the unfortunate incident of running into someone who does not agree with our beliefs, we insult them instead of engaging with them and understanding their point-of-view.
Understanding, I said, not acceptance, not submission…
Where is the thinking gone? Where is the listening gone?
I admit I have a lot to work on myself. The old programming kicks in from time to time and I become the venom that only adds fuel to the fire instead of trying to work with the fire.
When an information is fed to us…can we think if that information is really something that we believe? Truly believe? And if it is, fine. Believe it with the intensity that suits you but leave the door open to listen and help others understand your beliefs rather than just hurling insults. And leave that door open to continue thinking?
Because it is the thinking that has given us the greatest innovations. Innovations in technology, spirituality, communities have all come because we chose to find a better way.
And whether its Democrat or Republican, Conservative or Liberal, Muslim or Christian…there is a better way. I am searching for it and I know you are too…I pray that we find it. And I also pray that I have the strength to listen to you.
By Faizan Sabzaali