“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” -Gospel of Thomas
Self-censorship is a subtle demon. It robs us of our beauty in the name of keeping the peace or staying out of trouble.
It always presents itself as our ally, as a benevolent friend who is only there to protect our best interests. And in the process, we find ourselves never laughing at the jokes we really think are funny, never making the observations we really think are fascinating, never arguing the points we really think are compelling, never investing in the causes whose effects we really wish to see produced, and never living a life that really feels like living.
I’m not sure if there’s any greater enemy of all that is good than self-censorship. Certainly there is room for diplomacy and tact, but what use is there for diplomacy and tact if one is not rigorously involved in the act of self-expression? Diplomacy and tact are there to support, not stifle, self-expression.
Maybe all the world’s evils come not from the unregulated expression of impulses that should be kept in, but rather from the fear-based suppression of ideas, inclinations, and interests that should be let out.
Maybe evil is nothing more than the distorted sounds and horrific sights we create when we respond to our convictions by smothering their voice and strangling them to death.
Maybe the best thing we can do for the world is to risk sounding dumb, risk being misunderstood, risk irritating someone, risk being condemned by those who tell us the world doesn’t need anymore noise, and assert our right and responsibility to bring forth what is within us.