Right to freedom of speech… but how ’bout, right to be heard?

I find it very interesting, this idea of having the freedom to speak our thoughts aloud. Because how can freedom of speech truly exist when we are constantly (and unknowingly) censoring ourselves? Personally, I often find myself considering the consequences of what I’m posting, what I’m sharing and what I’m saying, before I actually post, share or say it.

It’s inevitable. From a very young age, we’re already exposed to these societal paradigms that over time become embedded into our consciousness; we’re taught about what’s ‘right’ and what’s ‘wrong’, about what’s ‘appropriate’ and what’s ‘offensive’. In some ways, this renders us incapable of having a way of thinking outside that box, mainly because most of the time, we’re not even aware that we’ve been confined into this box.

The truth is, even if we do speak our mind and voice our opinions, it doesn’t mean that we will be heard. There’s just so much content out here on the internet, and sometimes I can’t help but wonder about all those articles or videos that have never even been read or watched before, that remain forever hidden in the ever-changing, ever-expanding sea of information.

But to end on a somewhat more positive note, I just want say that, even if you are just a voice among millions, what’s important is that you are your own voice. You aren’t dead static; you’re alive and what you utter, matters. You’re a small but significant piece in a larger jigsaw puzzle. You may not be noticed by many; yet without you, the picture could never possibly be completed.

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Barriers

There have always been barriers placed around me by my parents, perhaps even by myself, to protect me; to shield me from the bad; to mould me into the person I’m ‘meant’ to become; the person who’s fitter, smarter, healthier and in all regards ‘better’. But now I’m realising that being this ‘better’ person is not the same as being your own person; that these barriers are a little like ropes bound around my arms and ankles, restraining me, limiting me, forcing me to grow in a certain way and denying me the chance to explore all those other possibilities out there.

I think that in a way, I’ve always acted like a “good girl”, not because I like being obedient and compliant all the time, but because I’ve always made that unconscious decision to confine myself within the barriers surrounding me, never choosing the option of venturing beyond my walls; always too afraid of taking big risks, too afraid of what I’ll find in unknown territory, too afraid of change and the disappearance of familiar things that give my life some degree of normalcy and constancy.

Yet change is inevitable, and even if I don’t go past my barriers, change will occur. Might as well let myself be in control of some of that change. Might as well take a chance beyond those walls even if I am terrified… especially if I’m terrified. After all, as I said before in ‘To take a leap of faith’, if the prospect of doing something doesn’t terrify you a single bit, then it’s probably something not worth doing. So if the thought of leaping over or breaking through your barriers makes your heart beat just that little bit faster or your throat grow just that little bit tighter, then it just means that it’s something worth doing; it’s something worth pursuing; it’s something worth living for.