I was once told I had an anger management problem because I was a little snippy with a cashier who was being more than a little snippy with me.  I thought to myself  that I did not say nearly as much as what I wanted to say and I certainly didn’t punch her in the face which I truly did want to do.  Putting things in perspective, I decided I managed my anger very well indeed.  Police were not involved.  No one went to the hospital.  No one cried.  I have found over the years that when I am told I need to control my anger what is really meant is that I should ELIMINATE any and all forms of disagreement, conflict, irritability, or utterances of a differing opinion than the person I am with.  I should, rather, smile and nod regardless of how hard I have to bite my tongue or grit my teeth.  Anger, my friends, is a normal, natural, human emotion and is not in any way “wrong”.  Expressing contrary opinions or disagreeable thoughts is the epitome of a free and “tolerant” society.  Although we are not free (in polite society) to inflict ourselves on others in a way that threatens or harms another person, it is still lawful to express opinions, thoughts, or feelings others may find offensive (heaven forbid).  Contrary to popular belief at the moment, there is still no law in the United States against words that hurt people’s feelings or “offends” them as long as we don’t cross the line and begin making threats or slandering people.  Not withstanding the current trend in proposing any form of disagreeable or offensive speech as unacceptable, it is still lawful to express a contrary opinion even if that opinion hurts someone’s feelings.  We really do need to lighten up and tough up a bit or we are in great danger of melting away into a society of people who are silenced, censored, and restricted from voicing any and all opinions in which at least one person in the world disagrees.  If “freedom of speech” only applied to people we agree with we wouldn’t need protected speech at all.  The very fact we disagree or are offended is proof we do still need legal protections for free speech.


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