Your Words Are The Foundation of Your Life
A significant part of the first amendment of the US Constitution is freedom of speech. The amendment guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.
We know what that means on a large scale. For example, we see it debated in court after an intense protest. Passionate protesters are arrested and brought to trial where they defend their freedom of speech.
But, what does that mean on a personal level?
Though arrested in mass, each one of the protesters must stand alone before the judge defending his or her words or behavior. The comfort of what everyone else says about something is an easy place to blend in, to feel secure. It’s much harder to stand alone and defend what is more easily said in a group.
That is so true. Think about it.
- It’s easier to say you support something when others you trust are supporting it rather than to support it by yourself. Not impossible, but easier.
- It’s easier to make fun of someone when everyone else is making fun rather than by yourself.
- It’s easier to be mean to someone publicly on social media rather than face to face.
How do you use your individual freedom of speech? What do the words you say, say about you? The words you use freely every day. The words you say out loud to others and most importantly the words you say to yourself. What do you deliberately speak out for? What do you remain silent about?
If you’ve ever watched someone make fun of someone else, you’ve witnessed the pain of words.
- If you’ve ever wished someone would have spoken up for you, you know the longing of words.
- If you’ve ever listened to someone stand alone for something, you appreciate the courage of words.
- If you’ve ever heard someone give a speech that inspired you to act, you’ve experienced the power of words.
What can your individual freedom of speech make possible? Your personal freedom of speech is a freedom that can deliberately change the world, one word at a time.
It takes just a minute to say, “Thank you. I appreciate what you did.” It doesn’t take much to notice an impressive effort and say, “Nice job!” What a difference it could make for you to notice people with your words. “I saw what you did and I think it’s great.” You know what it feels like when kind words are said to you.
Do you remember the last time you said a kind word to yourself? Did you say, “It’ll be OK. I’ll try harder next time.” Or did you say, “What an idiot. I’ll never be able to do this.” The words we use on ourselves are rarely the words we use on others. The freedom of your words must start with how you talk to yourself.
When you can love yourself for who you are, it makes it a lot easier to love others for who they are. When you can forgive yourself after you make a mistake, it’s a lot easier to forgive someone else. When you can get back up and do the next right thing, it’s a lot easier to help someone else do the same.
What you say to yourself can give you the freedom to live a life you can be proud of.