Although we live in a country that guarantees our freedom of speech, almost every one of us practices some form of self censorship. I bet if I took a poll of 500 people, the overwhelming majority of them would claim to be free thinkers. However, when it comes to expressing those thoughts, most people check themselves out of fear of offending or appearing ridiculous or being mocked by their listeners.
To my way of thinking, this is one of the great ironies of life in the so-called free world. We’re afraid because we know that those who say what is on their minds are considered crackpots. By practicing self censorship, we eventually begin to lose touch with our true thoughts and feelings. We start believing in the socially acceptable falsehoods that we find ourselves saying out of habit and social conditioning.
I often wish my friends and family would be more honest with me, even though I know I’m risking having my feelings hurt or my ego wounded. If they tell me what they really think with sincerity and sensitivity I’ll appreciate it in the long run. I get so tired of what I see as the hypocrisy of most human interactions, especially with friends and family. People are always telling others what they think they want to hear.
When we are communicating in writing, we should try to keep this natural self-censorship function under control. We should express ourselves sincerely in a reasonable and respectful manner. Only by being honest with ourselves can we be honest with others, and then both our writing and our social discourse can become more meaningful.
Causes Anthony Maulucci Supports
Greenpeace, Amnesty Inernational, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Save the Children