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I figure that Elon doesn't need a last name. We all know it's the gabillionaire that is driving the world nuts. How? The guy is attempting to buy Twitter and it's suspected that he believes in free speech. Not bad for a guy from South Africa, Canada, and holding citizenship in the United States as well.

He said in a Ted Talk, "A good sign as to whether there is free speech, is someone you don't like, allowed to say something you don't like? And if that is the case, then we have free speech. It's damn annoying when someone you don't like, says something you don't like. That is the sign of a healthy, free speech situation."

Now, I don't know much about Elon Musk other than he created Tesla, the electric cars, I know he's silly enough to think that we can get to Mars, but that's about all I know about him. Then the guy decided that he wanted to buy Twitter which set the world atwitter. Oh and I also know that he's on the autism scale to some extent, which I believe probably makes him so brilliant.

Free speech is getting to be a thing of the past. How DARE you have an opinion that goes against everything that the mainstream media touts. Tolerance now means that you will be tolerated by those who agree with exactly what they think.

Ironically, free speech is not debatable. The lack of free speech should be.

Just because someone says something that you disagree with does not make it a crime. Just because someone disagrees with what you believe does not make it hate. Newsflash! We aren't all the same. There I said it. We don't all think alike, we don't all believe alike.

If you doubt it, join a committee. If you are any kind of normal, you'll find that not a lot gets done, but an awful lot of talking gets done. There are endless hours of talking about doing something, then there's that ONE person that says, "Nope, I don't like it!" So everyone starts talking until the clan is all in their happy place.

Maybe I grew up in a time where you got the snot slapped out of you enough that you realized that you had to toughen up a little. I think I thrived on being different. I loved doing what I was told I couldn't. That was probably the best motivator. Yeah, I broke an occasional rule or two, now nothing crazy, so don't get any ideas. But I was never catered to. Never pampered. I was never told I was the victim of the bullies. I already knew that. But I had a backbone. I didn't particularly care that one idiot continually pulled my hair and pinched me when the teacher wasn't looking, I wasn't going to give them the satisfaction of a response.

Fast forward to a whole different kind of bullying. It still happens in adulthood. You have two choices. Take it or don't. I took it for a long, long, long time in a couple of different areas of my life. One was a result of the other. I wish now I hadn't. I still remember words that were spoken to me that are like a stab through the heart. But you know what? I realized that it was a reflection of them, not me.

I don't know, I might be off base here, but probably if all of the previous parts of this story hadn't happened, I wouldn't be here. I'm really not a fighter, I'm a survivor of a lot of idiots in life.

Now I'm not telling you to go around and act like an idiot to everyone, but I am saying this. Toughen up, people. When you reach adulthood you should have learned communication skills by now. There's no need to go nuclear on anyone just because you don't see eye to eye. The best thing you can do is sit down with whoever you think your adversary is, and find common ground, we all have it. Find it.

Hey, I grew up hating school. It never felt like a fun place to me. There wasn't a day that went by when I was in school, that some angel didn't point and laugh. There were things that I knew about me. For example, if I got into a game of co-ed softball they'll look at the batter and think they could move up to the third baseline. What they didn't know is that they'd have to turn around and chase the ball when I hit the ball. They also didn't know that I also had a mean serve in volleyball. While many on the other side of the net would relax my team would score at least that first point.

I say that to say this. Drill into your kids that they are NOT a victim of anyone. If they want something bad enough, do what you need to do to get it. Teach them to stand up.

I have a relative that has been a "victim" their whole life. We lived the same life. But at every turn, someone was always picking on them, they thought. When we were kids, they could not be friends with more than one person or there were going to be hurt feelings, always on the part of the "victim." They haven't changed today. It gets old fast. If someone looks at them...then you will hear a litany of suspected reasons for a glance in their direction. Stop it.

The victim part is a little switch in your mind that only you can turn on and off. No one else can make you a victim of words, you do it to yourself. You can only be a victim if you let someone make you feel that way. It's not easy to shut that off. But to survive you have to.

There are times that it's okay to say, "dang that hurt!" It's okay to go into your room and cry when it does. But you can't stay there. Look at yourself in the mirror, have a little pep talk and then wipe your tears and get out of there.

If you're parenting, there is a fine line between comforting and teaching your children to be a victim. It's not an easy line to locate sometimes. I think you can do it by hearing your children, and agreeing with them when they've been wronged. But then, you teach them to look at the person hurting them. Have your child put themselves in their shoes. Generally, you'll find in the shoes of a bully is something you can see that drives them. It's something inside them that's probably been hurt by someone else. There is something wrong inside the person doing the hurting.

There was an incident in childhood, when my dad was filling the position of some of my friend's dad when their dad suddenly passed away. I didn't understand why they were being so mean. I went crying to my dad. He gave me a hug and then reminded me that they were hurting. It wasn't anything that I had done, it was because they were hurting. I don't know why, but that stuck with me.

You can't legislate people to be sweethearts all of the time, as much as we'd like. In a former life in order for me to play any instrument or sing in a certain church I had to sign a six-page document, legal-size paper mind you, of things that I would not do. I signed it. I wouldn't do it now for anything. The fastest way to change my mind about doing anything is to tell me that I have to sign a paper to do it. Not happening, well, other than driving.

When people try to control what you say and do, it's a sign that they might want to stop you from speaking out. It's a control thing. Don't do it. It's funny how there is never a way to get out of these ridiculous "contracts." You can't go back and renegotiate, any point on these pseudo contracts, because they are worthless. These are nothing but a mind game with a heavy dose of control.

If you can't be trusted by a group of people to work together, without a signature, usually there's someone in the group that is probably wanting to control you. The only documents I sign are legal ones where I owe money or own property of some kind. I'm not signing a paper that says what I can and cannot say, thank you.

But we can learn to stand up for what we believe. We can do it politely. There's no need to be harsh. Most of the time, anger is a result of fear. Fear is an emotion that sometimes is warranted and sometimes it's an overreaction. Usually, it's an overreaction, but sometimes it's that innate ability to sense danger. If there's a real danger, where someone is hurting you or your family, get out of there! But fear of words is something that should not exist. Words are just that. Words. They don't have any power unless you allow it.

Back to Elon Musk. He has the whole world, in an uproar over words. Especially those five little words, "I want to buy Twitter." People are melting down at the prospect that he might make words available again to people that have had them taken away. There were reasons that our founding fathers thought, "We'd better write that freedom of speech thingy down, just in case..."

The very use of words is tearing our country apart. Stop it! When you start plugging your ears so that you don't hear certain words, you miss things like music. You miss the sound of children playing. You miss the sound of water running past you. You miss the sound of birds in the morning or crickets at night.

But you saved yourself from.. words. I probably analyze words more than a lot of people, there are a couple of reasons for that. One is my job. The other, well, let's just say that I've learned to dissect every single word that people say.

Words share feelings. They share emotions. They share fears and joys. You might look at someone once in a while and say, "That was weird," but you still love them. It's time we started talking rather than drawing battle lines.

It starts with leaders, parents, teachers and anyone in any kind of authority. When you realize you are only in charge of yourself and your response, life is much simpler. You can't make rules or laws to change people, but you CAN have a conversation and that will go a lot further.

I'll add this. Threatening someone with legal action over a conversation is not a good place to start. Try pouring a cup of coffee, sit across the table and start talking. You might find a new friend or at least some respect for each other. You might still disagree, but you can do it with kindness. Put the nukes away and just have a jelly donut, oh alright, make it celery sticks if you insist, but trust me, no one will be angry over jelly filling. And hey, the lack of fallout is much better for the community where you live.




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Gerald Bates April 25, 2022, 10:50 pm Love this!! Thank you!
Jennifer Kreutner May 2, 2022, 11:11 pm Well said. Thank you.
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