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Why Freedom of Speech is also an Exercise of Responsibility
Use your words to make this world a better place to live in.
IMAGE Clare Magno

Words have an intense amount of impact and strength in the world and a quick look at history will reveal that it has been proven time and time again that words overpower even the swords and weapons of mankind. Think about it. Words were what Jose Rizal used to inspire an entire revolution. Words were what Martin Luther King Jr. used to radicalize the equality between the white and African American race. Words were what Gandhi used to aid the Indians in gaining control of their own country. Words have magic, they're beautiful and empowering to all walks of life. Whether you're rich or poor, powerful or weak, big or small, words have a way of changing your life. That being said, words are also deadly weapons of mass destruction. Look at Hitler, whose charismatic words started the purge of millions of innocent Jews. A reading over the radio of War of the Worlds in the '50s caused mass hysteria and fear in the United States that they were truly being invaded by aliens. It's ridiculous how much power words truly hold and how wise we have to be in using them. This is why the term "freedom of speech" is such a heavy weight on any individual's soldiers. It’s a huge responsibility that people don't really realize they have not just for themselves but for the entire human race as well.

Words have magic, they're beautiful and empowering to all walks of life. Whether you're rich or poor, powerful or weak, big or small, words have a way of changing your life.

Every single time you open your mouth or write your opinion on your Twitter page, you're held responsible for those words whether they are good or bad. While it is vital that we do exercise our right to freely say our opinions about society, we must always take into account how these words will affect other people. Words can make or break person. Especially with social media, it is so easy to let your emotions take over and let careless and harsh words slip out for all the world to see. It doesn't just stop with words as well but with the pictures, videos, and other various forms of art we post online or through other means. While that is your right, it doesn't mean that it's the right thing to do. It is your duty and responsibility to society to use your words to be able to empower the right people. These are the people who cannot stand up for themselves, the people who need a voice but aren't given one. Too often, words have been used to abuse the innocent and weaken those who are already on their breaking point. We see this in how prevalent cyber bullying is, how the media can tend to favor those they see fit, and how much false information is floating around. With the advancement of technology, words are more powerful than ever. With that, our responsibility to use the freedom we have been given has become even more crucial.

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Too often, words have been used to abuse the innocent and weaken those who are already on their breaking point.

The way you use your freedom of speech reflects who you are as a person and shows what values you hold true to yourself. If your profiles on social media only show how hateful you are with no good reason towards other people, then that shows how you at the core are a very mean and selfish person. When you spread rumors about other people, it comes to show how you have no respect for privacy. If you pen a particularly scathing and untruthful piece about someone out of spite, it shows how you abuse the freedom you have to express yourself. Despite people saying that you shouldn’t care about what other people think about you, you should care because you don't want to leave a legacy of abuse and neglect for what other people feel.

They forget how one little opinion can spark immense change.

The world we live in now is much more liberal than it ever was before. The thing that most people fail to realize is how big of an impact each and every one of them make to keep this world more accepting and loving to those who have been marginalized. They forget how one little opinion can spark immense change. Your freedom of speech exists to uphold four main values. They exist to bring justice to those who have been wronged, bring more peace into our lives, showcase the truth that many want to hide, and to give the people hope when they think there is none. So exercise your right to speak responsibly, use it to be further instigate these four values, and altogether make this world a better place to be in not just for ourselves but for the future generations as well.

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About the author
Danielle Bernabe
Candymag.com Correspondent
Whether it’s through books, fashion, a plane, or my own imagination, I’m always on an epic adventure. Sure, I get lost quite a lot but hey it always makes a great story!
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