In my last post I mentioned having to second guess the posting of a cartoon of Mohammed on tumblr. I have written “I’m posting this anyway, because I like living on the edge” as a joke, but I recognized the seriousness of the action.
I mentioned a certain amount of trepidation and nervousness about sending in this letter to the editor at my school paper.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t stand by what I wrote. Feeling fear is not the same as lacking conviction in your words. Fear means that you understand the potential cost of speaking your conviction.
If you are afraid and you speak your beliefs regardless of that fact is the best kind of bravery. It brings with it a sense of certainty and strength, even if you are still nervous and worried.
A coward feels their fear and lets it paralyze their actions and freeze their words in their throat. It forces them to shut their mouths when they see something is wrong, instead of speaking out against it.
I said that liberals are terrified of Islam in that previous post. It’s the truth, I stand by every statement I made.
But I must add, conservatives are terrified of it as well. I’m terrified of it, as a woman, a lesbian, a believer in freedom and free speech and the ideals of America. I feel that fear when I speak my mind, when I publish my words, but I harness that fear and don’t allow it to control me…much.
Sometimes I get a little lost and a little bit more afraid and I wish that I could withdraw my words and remain anonymous, but my friends and family fish me out and remind me that my words are worth saying and worth hearing and that they should be shared. That gives me the strength to ignore the fear.
When I said in my last post that I would die for my freedom of speech, that doesn’t mean that I want to die or that I would prefer it. I would very much like to remain alive for many years. (Definitely until 2066 at minimum, which The Conservative New Ager will understand the reason for as we were discussing it today.) However, I won’t let my love of life curtail my words, because a life of cowardice is not a life worth living.
However that doesn’t mean that I won’t carry my mace a little closer after publicly making a statement that offends or that I won’t remind myself where my family’s guns are and refresh my knowledge of them at a gun range.
Ignoring fear doesn’t mean you turn off your common sense after all.
Maybe this was a bit more philosophical than I normally get, but after the day I’ve had you’ll have to bear with me.
Read the comments on my letter to the editor to see what sort of day I’ve had, along with my phone deciding to crap out and die and my hormones acting like my body is a bouncy castle. Being a girl sucks sometimes.