Yesterday, I was listening to a podcast about free speech and if there were limits to free speech and how could that possibly be implemented and who judges those limits.
What I appreciated about the conversation was the thought provoking, intelligent and process oriented way the podcast included different viewpoints and went in-depth without shutting anyone down.
As I listened to the discourse and appreciated the conversation on the macro level – think social media, political discourse, big challenges in the world, I started thinking about the micro level of free speech.
The first micro level my brain went to was how people in the corporate space consistently don’t feel they have free speech at work. How many times has an employee thought to themselves, “I have a solution to this problem but I know my boss won’t appreciate my feedback.”
They hold back their solution because they don’t feel free to share.
So they limit their free speech.
Many of my clients have clients of their own and we also work on getting better results for their clients. I’ve had clients say to me that they could never share something that would work better for their client sometimes because they felt the client wouldn’t be receptive or open to a new way of thinking about the challenge.
Clients hold back their solutions because they don’t feel free to share something out of the box and challenge their clients thinking. So they limit their free speech.
Another micro area of holding back on free speech is with friends and family. How many times does someone not share with a friend because they know the friend doesn’t want to hear it? Free speech is limited.
Or someone in a family doesn’t feel they have a voice. Or in a relationship, someone stops trying to speak their needs because they were shut down. They censor themselves. They limit their free speech.
The ultimate micro level of free speech is when we don’t believe ourselves and we don’t listen to our desires and we dismiss our needs. It’s the ultimate barrier to free speech.
We train ourselves right from the beginning to not listen to our own free speech that goes through our brains and runs through our hearts.
Listen to your free speech inside of you. Never dismiss it. Or else it will stay inside you to wither and die.