I am a stalwart believer in freedom of speech, thought, and the written word. You could say I support them in the fundamental sense, expressing a desire to keep censorship nonexistent and allowing for the free exchange of ideas. They should be carried out within the confines of the law and as long as people are not infringing on anyone else’s rights to live life the way they choose. But voice your opinion and share the thoughts running through your mind.

I would be terrified if my right to read, write, and speak freely about any topic was under siege and being stripped away because as a writer, I need to be able to have the freedom to read all kinds of subjects and discuss what is on my mind and in my heart. I love being able to read controversial material and hear opinions, even ones I hate, because it gives me the opportunity to scrutinize them and come to a better understanding of how different people think.

When people are given the right to freely express themselves and argue, we are able to learn so much more. All of our social and technological advances have come from men and women arguing and exchanging ideas about how things should progress. Once we give someone the power to control that, they become the only ones who can determine how we live and what we can accomplish, putting a limit on our progress.

Yes, some people say horrible and ugly things, and they stand for reprehensible causes, but as long as my rights are left intact, I am okay with accepting the fact that they have their opinion and are free to express that, even if I don’t want to listen which would be my choice. It shows their true colors and I can research my argument against them, coming to conclusive ideas that help me gain knowledge in my own life.

I believe that no one should have the power to decide what you can and cannot say, think, or believe, and this goes for all people. If you have religious beliefs, you should be able to express them without retribution, even if people disagree. Same goes for the nonreligious. If you belong to one political party or the other, if you believe in one philosophy or another, if you love one idea over another, express it and don’t be afraid of criticism.

Criticism can be scary because some people are quite difficult to handle as far as their methods of argument, name-calling, or otherwise extreme forms of castigation, but remember that they are entitled to believe and think what they want, and to say what they feel. They cannot infringe on your rights, but they can disagree.

I need to be more open about my ideas, but am timorous of attacks by wild protestors on the internet or in person, so I need to develop a thicker skin. I do, however, deliberately leave my political views off of this blog because I do not want to make this blog about that. Maybe if I start another one or decide to write a book about it I can express political, religious, and social views and criticisms. Just not here. I want this to be a blog where you readers can feel more at ease.

Anyway, criticism is an excellent way to learn more about yourself, especially when people refute your argument with constructive polemics that bring about ideas about your topic that you never considered. Always feel free to disagree.

As far as writing, I want to be able to write about all kinds of material, and it would be devastating if I were one day unable to do so. Words and thoughts should be free and, belonging to the individual, uncensored. Decency is preferred in certain contexts, but in reality, people should not be required to think or say what is expected of others.

If I want to criticize a political figure, I want the right to do so. If I want to argue for or against an ideology, I should have the freedom to argue how I wish. If I want to write about demons, angels, benefactors or tyrants, the freedom should match my capacity to engage in those endeavors. People are free to ignore or combat my ideas. But I believe everyone deserves to be heard and everyone should have the opportunity to use their voices and their pens to make their minds living entities that bring insight to everyone else, positive or negative. Or even, neither positive nor negative; the ideas can simply bounce off of us and we remain unaffected, choosing to simply ignore them.

The ugly things people say reveal truths about themselves that we otherwise would not have known. Same with the wonderful and inspiring things. Ideas are not something that should ever be policed or micromanaged. Let people think, say, write, and believe how they want, and learn more from them whether it is knowledge you take with you or leave behind. And speak up about opinions you despise and argue against them. Come to conclusions about your own beliefs and let others come to theirs. Just don’t take away their right to do so and no one should take away yours.

Anyway, that’s just something that has been on my mind for the past several months and I wanted to share it with you all. It is the importance of free speech from my perspective, and I hope this right continues on in the forever future. Learn and live, and don’t live in fear of others, the latter of which I need to remind myself every day.