My Verbal Utopia

Free speech comes with a price – for most of us.

Freedom of speech is a human right. I have always embraced that right, but in reality it often results in negative consequences for many of us. But free speech has always existed unfiltered in my utopia. I have fantasized about many versions of my utopia. The one I find myself visiting most often recently is one where people can freely speak their truth – and nobody gets hurt. This strikes me as a reasonable version of the ideal existence. The key to this perfect place is nobody getting hurt by the truth. This would require that so-called truths not be delivered with maliciousness or with the intent of self-promotion at the expense of another.

In the past, I have dared to speak truths publicly because I believed it was the right thing to do and it was my attempt to improve the lives of other people. Even though I have never revealed the truth to be malicious, I have often paid a price for being truthful – losing relationships, promotions, and respect.

Because of my own experience with speaking my well-intended truths, I am left speechless when it comes to witnessing the overwhelming support certain U.S. political candidates have received when they speak their malicious and ill-intended truths. One candidate  has even suggested repeatedly that harm should come to his opponent if the election doesn’t go his way. I hope he is held legally accountable if he loses and a crazy person acts on his words. If not a prison cell, then perhaps a permanent muzzle would be an appropriate punishment for the verbal vomit he has poured into the ears of my country. I simply have no words to explain why others speak encouragement for politicians who use their words to intentionally harm others so they can promote themselves.

As I watch the United States of America becoming painfully and dangerously divided over the words politicians have spoken, my verbal utopia is quickly becoming one where nobody speaks at all.

I wish everyone in America would stop speaking until November 9th, with the hope of calming some riled-up citizens and reducing the price that this country will likely pay for the divisive, self-serving “truths” that have already been spewed.


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© 2016 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved
No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Julie Ryan.


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