I could have gone a different route with this prompt and found a pretty photo and written about the serenity of a quiet walk, peacefulness of reading a book, or the eerie silence at a quarter till four in the morning. Part of me would have preferred to do that but, I just can’t. It is too important a time to stay silent.
The greatest gift of our US Constitution is in the First Amendment and its guarantee of the freedom of speech.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Americans have the right to express their speech or opinion in any number of ways. They may stand on a soap box and rail against all kinds of things. They may write a letter to the editor about their local leaders , they may choose to sit in silent protest as did Democratic members of Congress advocating gun control laws, or an American may kneel during the National Anthem and express his opinion regarding the state of race relations in our nation. All these are protected rights granted by our Constitution.
One may choose to agree or disagree with the soap box railer, the local letter writer, the Congress member or the football player. Disagreeing is also a protected right. What we cannot forget is not about the right or wrong of the protest or speech, but that we get to do it. All of us! No one is more patriotic because they stand on the popular side. Sometimes they are more patriotic when they stand up (by kneeling) and break the silence.
The protestor may start an important discourse on an uneasy subject. It is their courage to take that stand and open our eyes that is so critical. What goes along with free speech is listening. Do we listen enough and what do we hear. Are we silent to their voices?
President Obama said that “Silence killed your faith.”
Silence is an action. It is taken knowingly and deliberately. It has consequences. Use your silence wisely. Don’t let it kill your faith.