Almost all of us were brought up with this influence in our lives. For some of us, it came directly from our parents, and for others it came from the generation of our grandparents.
Most Americans were taught by someone influential to them that there are certain subjects not to be discussed in mixed company. Maybe you were told that it was unacceptable to bring up politics or religion in public. Or perhaps you were even brought up being told that opinions are like assholes…
In other words, most of us were indoctrinated, at an early age, to believe that our opinions were not relevant but offensive, and that it was better to keep them to ourselves for the purpose of keeping the peace, or so that we could continue to enjoy the benefits of playing nice with others, in our little boat that never rocked.
What we have continued to keep ourselves in the dark about for generations in this country it that this is the precise way that societies are held in an oppressive state.
When there is complete disclosure of ideas, of procedures and practices in a society, that society is actually free. When those things are veiled, a society may exist under the illusion that it has freedom, when in truth it may only have a fraction of the freedom that it deserves.
When we live in a society where any expression of opinion is met with disdain and judgment rather than consideration and constructive discussion, we are not completely free.
When we live in a community where the disclosure of personal financial information is considered completely taboo, when in actuality, it is information that could benefit every new recipient of that information; it is a community that is being kept carefully in control.
I wake up every day of my life being grateful for the freedoms that I do have, and at the same time I am painfully aware of the fact that my freedoms are incomplete.
The sad part is that we could make every freedom accessible to all citizens if we were collectively willing to address the ones that we have been deprived of as a society.
The hopeful part is that all we have to do to get freedom moving in our favor is to let go of the unfounded fear that something terrible will happen if we all stand up, speak our minds, and share our truth.