Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Free speech and foul words...

I think that free speech is a tremendous privilege we have in our country.  It’s awesome that we can say what we think. It’s incredible that we don't have to be politically correct when we express ourselves, although many push for that in our country.  We can say it and we can say it proud, when and where we want.

On the other side of this, I think we have confused the importance of saying what we think and when it is appropriate to say what we think. We also get mixed up on the consequences of what we say. This is a deep one today...
I absolutely believe we should be able to say what we believe, but I think we need to keep our speech audience appropriate, and be sure that we don't offend those we are near. The reason I say this is because as I have traveled, over the years, it has become common place to hear foul words by most anyone. Most folks don't hide it, don’t think about it or don’t care that it may not be appropriate for those around them, such as children or even adults. 
It may seem strange in this day and age, but almost 30 years ago, I chose not to cuss or use vulgar language, so I would not be offensive to others or build a reputation that includes that language. I am not being “holier that thou” in this, but it was a personal choice that I made. I am not judging others that chose to use words that I may not, but I still think there is an appropriateness to when we say things. Words have impact and I want people to remember me for more than some foul or vulgar words. 
This doesn't have to go as far as cuss words, it can simply be complaining or gossiping or criticizing. Other people do not need to know that I'm frustrated with the line I am in or that my neighbor’s cat keeps getting in my yard or that the owner of a company is not a good guy. We just need to be aware that others don't need to hear all that we think, even if we can say it.
Lessons Learned: We have to realize that what we say impacts others and not just us. Go on with free speech, but remember that your words impact others and that we are remembered for what we say.
Thoughts: What have you said that has impacted others in a positive way today? What is your reputation based on your words?

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