This I Believe

Jennifer - Banner Elk, North Carolina
Entered on September 25, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: democracy

I believe in the right to free speech, not just the right that we are supposed to be guaranteed in the constitution, but the actual right to speak. So often in today’s world it seems like we are being silenced. The government tells us we cannot say how we feel about their actions, friends tell us we shouldn’t speak our mind, or parents explain to us that while we are guaranteed the right to free speech that it is more like a privilege that can be taken away. Truly free speech does not exist in this world. No one can really say exactly what they mean without feeling some kind of repercussion, whether it is a person speaking with their friend about something or someone expressing frustration with a governmental action.

People should be allowed to speak their mind without fear of repercussion. So many things we are supposed to be allowed to do in this country are just illusions of freedom, the real rights to do many things, such as to have free speech, are written in words but not allowed to be practiced in life. Fear and frustration keep people from speaking freely and it is a shame, if everyone could just speak their mind the world would have less problems. Well, probably more problems to start with, but if you say what you mean instead of what someone wants to hear it helps eliminate future problems. It’s too difficult to keep up a façade for everyone and still be happy with who you are inside. Why lie to people when you can just tell them what you think? I would rather hear the truth than be lied to, but I guess maybe most people are not like me.

In my daily life I try to speak my mind, not what others want or expect but what I think and feel. I expect that not everyone will like the fact that I am so honest with them, but I think if everyone was honest with one another that life in this world would be much easier. Lies and deceit get people no where. To gain back our free speech people must use it and show that they are prepared to fight for it. People should start speaking their minds and try to use their rights so that they won’t be taken away or turn into illusions that they can see but never use.

It’s important to fight for what you believe in. Free speech, that is actually free, is something I try to fight for everyday by speaking my mind and being honest. I often wonder how many people are like me in that sense. Most people I know are too afraid to speak up for beliefs or to even mention the fact that they think they can’t say what they feel or mean. It’s sad that in a country that is supposed to have so many freedoms it seems in reality we have so few.