Freedom of Listen

I have some views that many do not agree with and that’s cool. Some are around philosophy, some are about life and some about people or rights or freedoms or whatever hits me that day. Many nations have freedom of speech. Sorry Americans, you aint the only one. With this, comes the more or less right to speak your mind. This was intended, especially with freedom of the press and right to free association, as a way of keeping the government in check.

The part I find interesting and amusing is how people respond when others say things they don’t like. Most just blow it off and walk away. But some choose to become offended and hate or complain that others should not have the right to say those things that hurt them.

These offended and hurt people have the right to speak as well and can say what they like in response. Or they can walk away. Or they can do anything they choose. Realize most things are offensive to someone.

From the American side, the signers of the Declaration of Independence were patriots, from the British side they were traders.

When Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her seat, or Claudette Colvin before her, many were offended. Today it would be viewed as offensive by most to expect her to.

It used to be offensive, [a lewd act actually] to show kissing in a movie.

Ricky and Lucy were not permitted to be shown as sharing a bed on TV.

What parts and how much of a woman’s body she can show used to be defined as offensive or not. Today we have Miley Cyrus

What I find interesting is the choices people make in response to being offended.

There are many people who annoy me. I can choose to listen to them or watch them or spend time with them and some of them I have harder choices such as a co-worker or family. But most are in my life by my choosing. I can choose to not have them there. When I do so, I make my life much easier and enjoyable. Sometimes I forget and get annoyed again.

The power of choice is an amazing thing. We choose much of our life and some philosophers will have you believe we choose all of it. Donald Shimoda will have me believe that every aspect of life is chosen by the person living it. I can see it but struggle with acceptance I think. I am with him 92% of the way or so. The more power we accept that we have, the more choices in our own lives we realize we can make.

I have some friends who seem to continually struggle to be happy. I have come to realize they have chosen this. Why would someone choose to be unhappy? Many people I have found believe they do not deserve to be happy. The reasons are numerous but the point is they chose to not be happy as punishment for some perceived act or deficiency. Do I see it their way? No. But that is their choice so who am I to judge.

Here is my point. My life is mostly or completely of my making. I can make it what I want. A homeless child can become President; numerous poor children have become billionaires. Children of shattered homes have become loving devoted families. When we choose to become happy we will be. When we choose to be unhappy, we will be.

Our life lives out like a movie where we are not only the lead role, but the writer and director. It can be believable or not. It can be a horror film or a documentary or a comedy. It can be more than one thing. And it can end at anytime we choose. Power in our own lives and over ourselves is one of the most basic rights in my opinion. Those who choose to limit what others do with themselves amuse and baffles me.

One of the images that makes my skin crawl is images of the KKK on parade. I would not watch it if it were to happen today. But they have the same right that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr did to tell us about his dream. Without one, we cannot have the other. We can be offended, but you can also speak out, or protest or whatever you choose. What would happen to a KKK parade if no one watched? Think about it….

When others say things we find offensive, some will choose to judge them and choose hate them and made demands that the other be stopped. These people sometimes seem to choose to be unhappy. What it seems like to me is, I am unhappy and I find that you have said or done something that I find offensive so I choose to blame you for my unhappiness. What I don’t understand is instead of victimizing ourselves, why not just walk away?

What’s my next point? This is. Our own powers are amazing. What we choose to do is limitless. What we choose to have in our lives is also limitless. If we choose to be offended by others, we can do so. Maybe it is a motivation for change for us and so choosing to be offended works. We can choose to be unhappy, or alone, or poor or rich or whatever. I am struggling with choosing to be taller, that’s the remaining 8% for me Donald.

The most alluring trait a person can have is confidence. People tend to follow those who are confident. People tend to believe those who are confident. People tend to hang around those who are confident. People tend to fall in love with those who are confident with more regularity. Even confident people tend to recover faster from illness or injury. Being offended and upset will only attract like minded people.

In many countries there is freedom of speech. In every country there is freedom of listen. I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh [does anyone anymore?] because he is racist and a bigot. But I am not mad at him, the radio just doesn’t stop there.listen


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