“IF I were a careless candle
Waxing eloquent from the flame of my own burning
I would set free by my heated tongue
The liquefied rantings of my softened core
And for a fleeting moment touch with my vanishing heat
The exposed senses of those who seek my glow…
And just as my warmth were known I would go cold
Returning to my hardened state…
If I was a careless candle
I would promise you light and warmth and then go out and leave you
Cold…and dark…and hard”
( "Lukewarm Thoughts" ...From my book... “Of Scattered Seed and Broken Souls.” )
The right to freely express ourselves has been enshrined in the highest Code of our society. It is one of the things that we claim with an almost religious zeal. Unfortunately we are not always very conscientious about the impact of our expressions on each other, and if we are, then we do not seem to care.
The claiming of this right has an implicit assumption that as a society we are civilized enough to bear the burdens: intellectual, political, cultural, spiritual, social, and legal; that the wanton expressions of our “freedom of speech” sometimes create. This is a careless assumption. Time and again, events have shown this assumption to be problematic to say the least. Ideologues, whether they be politicians, ex-politicians, media commentators, or religious figures; continue to be overwhelmed by the intrinsic ramifications of the frivolous exercise of this “right”. Even as we speak we are witnesses to the negative banter of opposing voices as they seek to address the many issues that haunt our society; from torture, to crime and violence, to community policing. We are duly concerned about quality of the analysis proceeding from the minds and mouths of many of the persons who present themselves as leaders on the various stages in our culture.
For better or worse, our words create realities that we must then deal with in the various circumstances of our lives. As the agents of our thoughts words express the deepest longings of our souls. Our words, at their best, create peace. At their worst, they result in tragic conflicts. Our words can create feelings of compassion, or they can engender emotions that negate our efforts at well needed reconciliation. Our expressions can build the bridges that bring us together, or they can cause the kind of alienation that makes neighborliness almost impossible. Our words can heal, or they can cause wounds from which we never recover.
While we cherish the right to freely express ourselves, let us never forget the sacred responsibility that we have to make this world better. Let us help with the healing; not exacerbate the hurt. Our words create our world… for better or for worse