Freedom of Speech

R - E - S - P - E - C - T - F - U - L - L - Y

There is a fine line between expressing an offensive opinion respectfully, and expressing it disrespectfully. Let’s not confuse the two. As Americans, we all have the freedom to our own opinion (however controversial), and to voice that opinion respectfully, however this freedom should not include expressing it with such disrespect. If we cannot agree, we must simply agree to disagree and peacefully part ways. Simply put, such disrespect, although sometimes legal in an effort to defend true freedom of speech, is counter-productive. Remember, not all speech is protected.

It only repeats this vicious cycle of negativity, fear, intolerance, and learned hatred. If you must be heard, why not do so constructively? If done so destructively, the negative tone of the message (not the message itself) will be remembered.

The message here is that if we demand to be heard, we must be willing to hear. If we demand respect, we must respect others. If we demand to be understood, we must seek to understand others. If we demand to be tolerated and given the freedom to be ourselves, we must give this same freedom to others - even if we do not understand. I’m not saying doing so implies acceptance or condoning or even agreement, but simply gives the freedom of tolerance - so long as it does not cause harm to others.

Just remember the golden rule, treat others how you would like to be treated. However, this should NOT include retaliating in kind when you feel you have been treated unjustly. Common sense must prevail.

So how does this pertain to small business? If you wish to be trusted in a business transaction, you must be willing to trust. See our post about earning a client’s trust. You can also see our post on reputation management.

Rob Shurtleff
Bob The Website Builder
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