Thursday, October 17, 2013

Freedom of Speech

It is a right guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Sometime ago, I mentioned that while have that right as an American citizen, I have also surrendered it as a Christian. I am no longer free in Christ to say whatever I want to say.

Too often, people are abusing the right of free speech to say some very hurtful things. Too often, people are abusing the right of free speech by saying false things. Too often, people are just wasting time and oxygen by say things that have no value other than to give somebody and inflated opinion of themselves.

What would happen if we all decided to use our Freedom of Speech for good?

Last Saturday a woman at our writers' club went out of her way to pay me a very nice compliment. It was a simple acknowledgement of something that I do in our meetings that made an impression on her. It was very kind of her to tell me and gave me a little lift.

I was thinking about that throughout the weekend. On the one hand, it was a small gesture. But on the other hand, it had a kind of super-power quality to it. It immediately lifted my spirits and it made me want to do the same for somebody else. You probably encounter people everyday that are doing nice things or doing a particular job well, and yet they seldom receive any recognition for their efforts. Truthfully, they probably don't do what they do for the recognition...but that doesn't mean that we can't encourage them anyways.

I've tried to make it a practice of recognizing good customer service on the phone. If a representative has been polite and helpful, I usually ask to speak to their supervisor. It can make them a little nervous until I explain that I just want to tell somebody what a fine job they are doing!

There aren't too many people that read this blog anymore. I attribute it to infrequent posts and that people don't want to read the ramblings of a mere curmudgeon in training. Between the religious conservative friends and the politically liberal ones, I've managed to offend just about everybody at one time or another. The people that still come back here are a bit of a puzzle--non-religious to atheists along with a few tolerant conservative evangelicals, political liberals, moderates and conservatives (although I don't think too many far right readers are still around), readers of all ages including young women and curmudgeonly old men  (although I think that most are close to my age). I have managed to keep a number of international readers as well as a few that just stop by as random readers.

But what if just the few of us decided to use our free speech to lift somebody's spirits this weekend? A kind word of appreciation or encouragement can go a long ways sometimes. We can be a mini-force of word warriors with a mission of bringing smiles to the weary world. It may not seem like an extraordinary thing but it is far beyond the ordinary for most people. Isn't that what makes something extra ordinary?

Use your freedom of speech to be an extraordinary person today. And if you think this is a good idea, share it with your friends. This may turn out to be an extraordinary weekend for a bunch of people!

John <><


eViL pOp TaRt said...

We have the right to free speech; but we are also endowed with love and compassion that would encourage us to leave some things unsaid.

Mike said...

'I've managed to offend just about everybody at one time or another.'

Not me yet. You need to try a little harder. But then I have a bad memory.