Friday, April 01, 2011

Self-Censorship

I've had some thoughts stirring around in my head lately and have been struggling with how to express them. My first amendment right, as an American, tells me I have the freedom to speak my mind. And, this is my personal little corner of the blogosphere, so this is where I choose to do just that. No one is forced to read it. No one is under any obligation to agree with it. And, it is open for comments and rebuttals in the spirit of fairness and engaging conversation.

But, just because I have the right to say something and I feel like I want to, does that mean that I should?

I just finished a month of reading a chapter of Proverbs every day. Much of what I learned was about holding my tongue and not stirring up strife. So, as I thought about my blog post today, I thought it through to who might read it and how they might respond. This is usually my process in writing; it's always a good idea to consider your audience. I also consider the consequences.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone says something they believe in and then get angry at those who have counter arguments, or who "punish" them for their stance. It's always interesting to me when people claim their right to free speech while simultaneously wanting to inhibit others when it comes to voicing dissent. So, if I put something out there, I have to know that I am prepared for the backlash and that it is something important enough for me to fight for it.

Today I had to make that decision. I had in my mind a blog I wanted to write, but I knew that it would offend and possibly hurt some people. And, while I choose not to live my life in an effort to please others, this particular battle didn't amount to one I wanted to fight. So, because of my renewed vigilance over my tongue and the pause I give myself before posting, I thought through the writing process. It turned out that I didn't have to write it in a way that was offensive at all, but could concentrate on the beauty of the ultimiate point I had hoped to make. I think it was a much better piece because of my partial censorship.

Just because it is my right to post whatever thoughts tumble across my mind doesn't mean it's wise, good, or edifying to do so. Today I found a way to share my thoughts without making any of it seem personal to any of my readers. And, yet, it's personal to all of us because the themes are universal.

So, thank you, 31 Days of Wisdom for giving me pause and saving me (and others) needless drama.

1 comment:

Charlee said...

You seem wiser already! I'm proud of you though. It takes character to hold your tongue and class to make a statement without offending.