- michelle m. davis
Speaking Our Truth
Updated: Feb 8, 2022
Ever since I was a young child, I abhorred others telling me what to do. I wanted to figure things out on my own, not blindly follow another without knowing my options. Luckily my parents “got” this about me, and since I was basically a smart kid who chose wisely, I was allowed to make a lot of my own decisions.
Despite the freedom I had at home, I was often reluctant to express my beliefs in the outside world. I guess I just wanted to “fit in” and was afraid I’d rock the boat if I spoke my truth. Over the years I figured out when it was important for me to express my concerns. Still, this took practice. Sometimes I erred by holding my tongue. And there were those moments when I expressed myself a bit too strongly, unaware of how my words would impact a situation. Let’s just say I learned a lot in the process of finding my voice.
However, recently there seems to be huge consequences for verbalizing our views. In fact, we are constantly hearing of influencers and public figures censored for saying or writing something in opposition to a particular school of thought. This causes a domino effect, heightening peoples’ hesitation to say what’s on their mind. After all, if an “important” person is blocked from social media for mentioning a particular perspective, what might happen to me if I said something not supported by the powers that be?
I suspect many of us face this exact fear. But it’s not limited to speaking our truth on large platforms. Might sharing our thoughts and opinions with those around us cause negative repercussions? Could we lose friends, alienate family members, or jeopardize our jobs?
I don’t know about you, but if I suppress a strong emotion for too long, it often comes out sideways. I may become frustrated, experience anger, or even feel the effects in my physical body.
Lately, all of this is occurring—but not because I want to state any particular belief. Instead, I’m appalled people are being censored for sharing their opinions. How un-American is that?
I’ve wanted to write about this topic for quite some time. Yet, I struggled. Should I put these thoughts in a blog? Can I be honest about what I think?
The truth is … I was afraid to speak my truth. How will my readers react? Will I offend anyone? Would someone censor me?
But then I was remembered why I chose to create this blog, “elevate,” and reread my website’s home page as a reminder of my mission:
We constantly face issues that challenge us to be our best. While sometimes “we’ve got it,” there are moments when it’s nice to know that we’re not alone, that others also encounter the same questions, problems, and uncertainties.
Writing about my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned along the way helps me to better process the inner meanings, allowing me to move forward on a clearer path. It is my hope that these reflections also assist my readers in reaching their goals, climbing their mountains, and finding their higher selves ... elevating to a new level.
Part of elevating is being in alignment with our true self. If we’re afraid to express our inner thoughts, then how can we possibly rise to a higher vibration, a more “elevated” version of who we are?
I’m not suggesting we shout our beliefs from a roof top or aggressively impart our opinions on others. Still, shouldn’t we be able to honestly say what we think? If not, when did this right cease to exist? And who gets to decide who says what?
Censorship is today’s biggest tragedy. Regardless of what you think, you have the right to your opinion … and it’s your privilege as an American citizen to speak your truth. No one should be able to dictate another’s belief system. The public deserves access to all information, allowing individuals to decide for themselves.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. — The First Amendment to the Constitution
Our country was founded on the freedom of speech, and the First Amendment clearly states we have this right.
Then why do certain people feel the need to censor others?
Maybe the truth of what’s currently occurring lies in this answer.
I believe in humanity and have faith in people’s abilities to choose wisely. That’s why I don’t understand the current need to control the flow of information. Depending on which newspaper you read, the news channel you watch, and what people you follow on social media, you will encounter differing opinions to multiple issues. But this is a good thing. Then YOU GET TO DECIDE what YOU believe.
After all, isn’t censoring others—regardless of their views—a bit like what occurs in communist countries? I thought the United States was different because its citizens had the ability to speak their truths?
Alternate perspectives exist in many aspects of our life. Take wellness for example. Whether you’re vegetarian or are you follow a strict keto diet, both are based on very different schools of thought, often offering conflicting positions about what is best for our bodies. But we get to decide whether we swear off meat or instead eat the grass-fed burger. It’s up to us to do the research on our own, accessing freely available data. We aren’t told what is best for us. We have the power to choose.
This freedom should hold true with everything else. However, when people lose their ability to choose and access to information is censored, we are not living as free Americans. Instead, we are merely victims to a higher power attempting to control us.
Of course, you don’t have to agree with me. You have the option to decide for yourself. And I respect whatever you believe. All I ask is that we allow each other the freedom of choice.
“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God
and nature.” — Benjamin Franklin
If we pause to consider the moments in history when governments or ruling power practiced censorship, I think we’ll all agree these situations never ended well. Think of Germany, Russia, China, Cuba …
“Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself.” — Potter Stewart
Whenever another’s words make no sense to you, pause, take a breath, and then realize it’s their right to express their beliefs. You don’t have to subscribe to their views, and you can certainly counter with your position. Nevertheless, no one has the right to tell another what he or she can or cannot say. You and I should be able to speak our truth … and allow other to do the same.
“The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen.” —Tom Smothers