Stories are everywhere.
They are in our literature, in our speech, in our radio waves, on the internet, they are in our podcasts, we tell and hear stories constantly. Whether it be from a classic children’s story or from a story you heard when you were little, or even a recent story, stories have a significant impact on how we view the world.
Stories help us to learn about the world around us and help us to step inside different worlds. Stories warn us and teach us valuable lessons, they help us to empathize with others, they help us to understand what was important to someone during a certain historical time period.
Along with stories comes the importance and significance of free speech. Like many of the brave patriots who formed our nation, George Washington believed that freedom of speech was paramount to preserving our free society.
Time and time again throughout history, we have seen violent dictators rise to power and commit horrible atrocities and unspeakable acts toward the people they have subdued. Careful study of these historical events reveal that when freedom of speech is removed or suppressed, evil will soon rise up and seize control.
Freedom of speech and of the press are invaluable assets.
We are lucky to live in a country where freedom of speech is permitted, because stories from all sorts of media, whether it be from the radio, books, podcasts, help us significantly to understand and interpret our world.
When evil men rise up to commit wicked acts against our fellow citizens or corruption takes hold of our government, it is the press that has been our greatest weapon.
It is by the words we speak, the stories in the paper, the blogs on the internet, and the broadcasts on the radio, that we combat the threats to our society.
Not only is freedom of speech an invaluable weapon against tyranny, speech is the means by which we endeavor to advance truth, wisdom and knowledge.
Speech and the stories we tell are the vehicles with which our ideas travel.
Without speech how would we challenge the corrupt actions of the immoral or challenge the beliefs of our opposition.
Indeed, without the freedom of speech all of society will perish.
Where would we be if stories did not exist? Not only will freedom die, all progress and growth of society will cease to exist if men and women are not enabled to speak their mind. It is by the constant exchange of thoughts and ideas that truth is found.
Conversation is the refinery where great ideas are advanced and foolishness is discouraged. Eliminate a society’s ability to converse and you have instigated the systematic destruction of progress.
Never discourage discussion and always be open to the views of others. Always listen to the opinions and ideas of those who differ from you and never seek to silence those who would speak against you.
When we endeavor to silence our opposition we have waged war against the sacred freedom of speech and have only endangered ourselves and the whole of society.
If we are to enjoy the freedoms that speech entails, then it must be enjoyed by everyone. If a single man is denied his right to speak, then the freedoms of every man have been threatened.
Stories are everywhere, and along with stories comes the importance of free speech, of listening to others, of listening to the stories that surround you.
Without stories and the free speech that accompanies this, we would not have such a complex and rich understanding of the beautiful world that surrounds us.
Gregory Plathe is a Staff Writer for The Comment Newspaper.