Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Be Careful About What You Write

(Click Above)

...Scarface, Tony Montana (Al Pacino)

Most of my friends truly mean well.  Some even give me unsolicited advice.  I truly appreciate it.  It's important to me that they share their opinions with me.  Communication is the essence of life.  We are social creatures.  However some of us are also fearful creatures.  We get hung up on what others think or say about us.

A few of my friends have admonished me to tone down my blogs.  Some think that I might be revealing too much of myself and "fear" that I might be misunderstood.  Their points are well taken given that employers current and future routinely check up on their employees.  Some feel that it's their "right" to surf the internet to do "research" on you.  Isn't it flattering that these corporate vigilantes would want to research how their employees think and feel and who they are friends with on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twiter?  To those I say, shoot me an email and I will gladly respond in a private email.

We celebrate the freedom we have in this country to express ourselves and our ideas.  We celebrate that in this country, we choose to protect freedom of speech in our "Bill of Rights".  We believe that it is one of our inalienable rights.  Our judicial system supports and defends that right.  The day that it doesn't, we will all be in trouble.  The irony of people thinking that they should monitor your thoughts;  that you should conform to them sounds like a breach of my "first amendment" rights.

The fact is that most of us suppress what we feel and think.  We go through a lifetime of conformity.  Please tell me what that brings you?  Does that make you a happier person?  Does it preserve your job to agree with an idea that will ultimately cause your company's financial demise or harm the environment?  Does that make you a team player?  Is your conscience clear because you did not speak out?

Ignorance is not bliss, it is just ignorance.  Truth does not wrap itself in pretty packages.  It is not always an "agreeable" point, most of the times it's arguable.  Knowledge comes with responsibility.  Harboring it and hoarding it for the right moment inflicts harm.  One of the ugliest institutions this country harbored, slavery, existed because of the economic and political beliefs of a few and the silence of many.  The Vietnam War which split my generation easily falls in this same category.  (I pray that history will not say the same about the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.)

I choose not to be silenced, cajoled, or intimidated by fear.  Fear is nothing more than ignorance.  I choose not to be ignorant.  I ask questions because I want to be armed with knowledge.  Like you, I am looking for purpose and meaning in my life.  This quest drives my survival.  What I do for a living is only one dimension of me.  Who I am has more to do with what I create and my interaction with you.  Voices are meant to be heard and images seen.  However, I will concede this:  God gave us two ears and two eyes but only only one mouth by design.  Listen and see twice as much before you speak.

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