Is Freedom of Speech Really Free?

As Americans, free speech isn’t something we think about a lot because we take it for granted that we can say what we want when we want. Why talk about it here? Glad you asked! Free speech gives off the impression that people have the liberty to speak what’s on their mind. However, as with all things, there’s a catch. When we open our mouth and let “verbal vomiting” come forth, it may be free speech but is it good for us? I’ll explore that further throughout this post.

I’ve written several articles about how words affect us. The first one, “Thoughts, Intents, Action!” provides the nitty gritty details of how that works. I then wrote an article on how we can reprogram our DNA. How do we do that? Through the words of our mouth! There are ancient texts that talk about how the words of our mouth produce life or death and that the tongue, being so small, is like the rudder of a ship and controls the entire ship. In regard to free speech, that means what we speak rules our lives – the good, the bad, and the ugly. The problem is that most of us don’t think about the physical and emotional effect our words have on us. Yes, you read that right… our words affect us physically AND emotionally.

Just because we have the right to do something doesn’t mean that we should do it. Everything must be weighed as we consider the consequences. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of thinking about the consequences of our words while we verbally vomit all over someone when they do something that frosts our buttons. The bottom line… if we don’t carefully weigh our words, they produce negative consequences.

We live in a society now that practices what is termed, “cancel culture.” That literally means when you say something that another believes is disgusting, inappropriate, or we don’t agree with, someone gets canceled. There is literally a witch hunt to destroy the person’s character. People don’t understand that cancel culture is a form of verbal abuse at its finest. I’ve said in many other blog posts that “hurting people hurt people.” They project onto others what they do themselves. Unfortunately, most don’t realize it because they’re too steeped in an unhealthy belief system that’s held them captive for years. How do I know? I’ve done it myself. As I say to people, I can’t share truths about something unless I’ve walked that road.  I lived through an abusive marriage so I understand how and why cancel culture is extremely abusive. To read more about that, check out my website where I go into more in-depth details concerning verbal abuse. Be sure to check out the terminology and definitions for verbal abuse.

I don’t normally get on YouTube to watch live streams of events. However, I felt it important to follow certain issues and when I found people who were “boots on the ground,” I began to watch their live streams. With chat boxes opened as a plethora of people commented, you can only image the types of things discussed. There’s a lot of arguing, attacking others with alternate beliefs, name-calling, and the list goes on. Some people get put into time-out when they “troll” a live stream. Others flat out get banned. To say the least, it’s been an education in watching people exercise their right to free speech. Those who like to be argumentative get on a channel and when someone challenges them, they’ll spew, “I thought this was a free speech channel!” As much as you try to ignore the chat, the verbal vomiting affects the energy and tone of a live stream.

In the article I mention above about reprogramming our DNA, the focus is on our words. Because I’ve walked through healing from a sickness due to living through an abusive marriage, I knew a mindset change was needed so I could walk in wholeness – spirit, soul, and body. How did I do that? I started with what came out of my mouth. It took several years to change some mindsets. Once I was able to do that, my body began to respond to the more “healthy” words coming out of my mouth. Out of the depths of our heart, our words come. What we believe about ourselves makes its way to our words. We then release those words and our body says, “Yeah, I can agree with that.” Our body lives out the consequences of our words.

Back to chat boxes on live streams… For several hours over a period of days, I watched the chatter. It’s amazing the energy that resonated through the words as people came and went. When a couple people came in arguing, it set others off. When people were more positive, others joined along. A couple rotten apples totally changed some of the conversations, which made me want to leave. At that point, I began to release frequencies of peace and hope into everyone in the chat. Eventually, I saw “the tide turn” toward a more respective banter between participants. In a sense, I felt compassion for those who wanted to argue. Of course, the arguing centered around religious and political views. Go figure… Why should that not be a surprise!?

If we want to live healthier and happier lives, it might do us some good to consider that even though we may have the right to free speech, we might be better saying nothing. Carefully weigh our words prior to spitting them out. My dad used to say, “make sure your brain is engaged before putting your mouth into gear.” Do we really want to live out negative consequences of our verbally vomited words? Do we want to be frustrated, angry, fearful, bitter, hurt, or anxious? Remember – our words can bring us into these negative places. Do we really have the right to cancel someone because we disagree with their point of view? If so, what good does it really do us? Have we considered the problem might be within us rather than others? Why do we feel it’s necessary to consider one group on the “left” and another on the “right?” When we do that, we’ve come into agreement with cancel culture. Where’s the unity in pointing fingers at “the other side?”

When we open our mouths and say negative and demeaning things to others, we’ve literally put ourselves in “verbal jail” because we’ve become captive to our words. On the other side of the coin, when others spew nastiness all over us, we have a choice to be offended. Once I learned to carefully weigh my words along with not being offended by someone else’s words, I began to live a more peaceful life. The consequence of that? I’m physically and emotionally more healthy than I’ve ever been. It takes practice and understanding that we each have value as a human as a starting point. No one person is greater than another. Honor yourself while you honor others. Maybe that person shooting nasty verbal arrows towards you simply had a bad day and needs some extra love.

My parting words for you? Consider that even when we’re allowed to engage in free speech, sometimes it’s better to shut up. Think about the consequences directed into our body for every word that comes out of our mouth. We are living today what we said over ourselves yesterday, a month ago, and even years ago. To live in better health, learn to make adjustments in what comes out of our mouth.


Del Hungerford © February 2022