Peer Review by RemovedUser1 (United States)

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Wield It Well

By: doodleninja

    When someone tells you to "please shut up", I hope you take offense to that. When your voice is silenced, when your paper is censored, when your words are shoved into "restricted areas", locked away in vaults, I hope your blood boils. If these things have ever happened to you, know that your voice has been snatched out of your throat. Your human right has been violated. 
    This speech is meant to encourage the whole human race to use their own words. This speech is for those who've lost their voice, perhaps lost their will to speak, in fear of what others might think, or in fear of what others might do to them. I have always been the quiet person, the one to keep my opinions to myself, for all those exact reasons. And it is tragic that today we must face the fact that yes: some of us, some of our words, are being blotted out. 

    Speech. Communication. It's the binary code in this supercomputer of the world. Yet unfortunately, it's not always easy to be heard. Far too often, people instinctively shoot down opinions contradicting their own, they cover their ears and never try to understand the other point of view. 
    And yet, here's the thing. 
    Whenever you read an article, or see a post on social media that opposes your are witnessing the miracle of human diversity. I know, it's hard to not just outrage about how wrong they are, but take a minute. 
    You and this person disagree. And yet, you can still coexist peacefully. Isn't that wonderful, almost inconceivable?
    You can accept each other's words. Both of you are free to write whatever you want, both of you are free to express your feelings, and both of you are free to speak. 
    And it's when even news feeds start blocking certain stories and information, that we teeter-totter on the edge of a dangerous precipice, one that drops off into a chasm of foolish ignorance.  
    This is the power of words, the power that sends government and companies into a frenzy, the power that threatens dictators, the power that can change minds. Any fool can fight; it takes a genius to win a war with words. Using force is easy, persuasion is harder. 
    True freedom, however, does come with responsibility. And so it is with true freedom of speech. Without some sense of morals, society cannot exist. As with anything in this imperfect world, words can be abused or misused to promote evil, injustice, and even chaos. A number of causes are behind this, but one thing we can do is to cultivate good judgment. If we can raise future generations to be sensible thinkers, to be able to identify rhetorical fallacies, errors in logic, tools of persuasion...we may not have to worry about "censoring" and "silencing", because they will be able to figure out for themselves what is valid and what is not. They will be able to differentiate the babbling idiot from the one who has something substantial to say.
    We can teach future generations how to understand, how to discern; instead of teaching them what to think, we can teach them how to think. 
    Sadly, even this does not happen today.
    Indoctrination lurks beneath us, subtly crushing people's voices. It takes a healthy balance of different sides of the story for people to come to conclusions, yet often we only get one point of view, despite the efforts of teachers and reporters. Why do we only ever hear western civilization's perspective on history? Why can't we present both intelligent design and Darwinian evolution in the classrooms and have students decide for themselves? We can lead by example, showing others that yes, we can have different opinions, and it's okay to speak outside of the norm. 
    Let them talk, and let them decide for themselves whether they will agree or disagree, whether they will follow, or oppose. 
    Have conversations. Don't be afraid to interact with people who disagree with you. Humanity is descending into tribalism, where we're huddling together with like-minded people, declaring war on those who are not perfect replicates of us. And that should be terrifying. If we remain on this course, we fall stagnant, or even worse, degrade as a civilization. It's only when someone says "I think something else" that progress can be made.
    Humans can make judgments, and once we can't think for ourselves, then what are we? Lemmings following each other off the edge of the cliff? Mindless zombies? Perhaps even worse. The Chinese government is infamous for its mass censoring of information, and we sympathize with those who have been thrown in jail for daring to speak out. 
    Let's not come anywhere close to what happens there, let's not attack or mob someone just for using their words. No matter your worldview, you deserve to be heard. The world is your stage and you have your podium. Start a blog, start a podcast, put your phone down, and have a conversation with friends; you were given a voice and it is your responsibility to use it to make this world a better place. 
    Don't be discouraged if you ever face hardship. Even great scientists such as Copernicus and Galileo were suppressed, sometimes put under house arrest, before their discoveries were accepted. 

    As someone who wants to become a speech therapist, I want to help other people find their own unique voice. As that  quiet person, easily drowned out by others, I know what it's like to feel as though what I say doesn't matter. That nobody's listening. 
    But words do matter.
    And the worst thing you can do is to have a voice and not use it. 
    So talk. Write. Sing. Scream. Communicate. And listen to others. 
    Use your words not your fists. Use your rhetoric not stones and sticks. 
    From the moment you thought your first thought, communicated your first opinion or held power. 
    The power of words.
    Wield it well. 


Word Count: 999

It's a speech...about speech :D

Message to Readers

I recently watched The Social Dilemma, and that gave me a huge inspiration boost for this if you're a returning reader, hope you like the revisions!
And if you're new, be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Thank you @mystifiedtulip for the wonderful review!!

Peer Review

The beginning paragraph is really bold. I can hear anger in the writing. I also love your descriptive language, and the unusual topic. This gives power to people who have been silenced, and it makes people who have wanted to silence or didn’t like other opinions feel kinda guilty. We’ve all read something and been super angry, but this makes you rethink your decisions.

I, myself, am so PRO certain ideas, and when someone disagrees (usually extremely) that makes me really mad or exasperated. Especially when that’s all that I see. So this reminds me that it’s ok for other people to disagree.

Maybe if you included a personal experience? I know you said you were the quiet person and you’re almost at the word limit, but if you included a personal experience of being silenced that would add an interesting concept. Also, quotes from famous leaders would add a nice touch. I have this one as my screen saver (XD), “ If all printers were determined not to print anything unless it didn't offend anyone, there would be very little printed,” by Benjamin Franklin.

You clearly have a passion for this issue, and you have a GREAT speech so far! It has gotten better since the first draft, and you included some nice points! This is really a great use of free speech, XD.

Reviewer Comments

This is freakin’ amazing! I love it so much! I don’t know how helpful this will be, but I hope you get something from it:). I really think you could win, or at least be an honorable mention. I will be quoting this often, XD! Have a great day!