Whenever someone shoots off their mouth and someone else doesn’t like it, that ol’ “freedom of speech” nugget is repeated ad nauseum.
Yes, we get it. Freedom of speech in all first world countries is a must. It’s the thing that all other second, third, fourth, whatever world country strives for, and rightly so.
But over the past few years, I’ve noticed something in some first world countries. We mistake the right to free speech as a given, regardless of the reasons for that person to flap their gums.
My favorite example of this is a woman in a movie theater somewhere in the good ol’ U S of A. During the movie, she was taking phone calls on her cell phone, talking during the movie, and disrupting others movie-going experience When an usher came in the ask her to either turn off her phone or take the call outside, she brought up her right to free speech. She was booted from the theater and called the theater chain and left a verbally abusive message on their voice mail, which the theater promptly used as part of their advertising campaign about people talking in theaters.
First off, there are countries around this world who would literally kill to have the freedom this big-mouthed woman was flouting. I don’t mean “kill” as in “I’d kill for a McDick’s chocolate milkshake”. I mean actual death. Yet here she is, using it as a means to defend her right to what? Talk to her bikini waxer? Make an appointment with the attitude adjustment bureau because her compassion isn’t mixing well with her asshole? Who knows. The fact that she used such a reason for making her vitally important phone call, disrupting others, is an example of the over-inflated sense of entitlement people feel these days.
In short, it’s basically saying “whatever I’m doing, or about to do, is far more important than you. Now, if you’ll please be quiet, I can mention on Facebook how annoyed I am with your rude behavior! Imagine, trying to have a friendly conversation in the middle of my mind-melding time with Siri, because physically touching the screen is just too time consuming.”
Sorry lady, but real conversations with friends should trump whatever crap you’re playing with on your phone. If social media, emailing, texting, and whatever else can’t wait until later, then you should just stop hanging with them ol’ flesh and blood people.
But that’s the mentality of entitlement. Whatever they are saying or doing is far more important than others around them. They are sooo important that if someone dares to interrupt them, or ask them to respect others around them, that they whip out that right to free speech. “I have the right to blather on during this movie, ruining everyone else’s time just because it is my right to be a prick!”
What these people forget is that there’s other things like respecting others, compassion, and selflessness. It’s the reason they ask you to turn off your cell phone in the theater, to respect the people around you.
The other day, a comedian friend of mine, who fashioned myself as a controversial and in-you-face type of comedian, wondered when the world became so sensitive. A Greek athlete was booted from the team back making a remake about so many West Nile virus mosquitos in Greece that they’ll have a taste of home with al the Africans there (I’m paraphrasing). My comedian friend thought it was just a harmless joke and that a lot of people got upset over nothing.
After reading the article about the incident, as well as the growing anti-immigration sentiment in Greece, particularly towards Africans, as well as recent deaths of Africans in Greece from the West Nile virus, I could understand why people were upset. Booting the athlete may have been a little hard and over-board. An official apology from the athlete should have sufficed.
The Greek athlete, who was about to go to the Olympics, knowing how serious they take the morals, ethics, and conduct of everyone at the games, should have maybe kept her mouth shut. But in some small way, she felt entitled and stuck her foot in her mouth. Ridiculing the reasoning behind those who were offended, without knowing why they were offended, lacks compassion. But some people feel entitled to comment on things they have no knowledge about.
I’m not above this either. I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth so often you’d think I enjoyed the taste of toe cheese. I rant and rave about my thoughts and opinions, but the difference is on here, the only people who might read it are people who come here willingly. I don’t stand up in a theater and annoy the hell out of people. I used to be very passive aggressive with my Facebook posts when I was trying to make a point. But all that got me was either people ignoring me, or people changing their setting so they didn’t have to read my stupidity.
I thought I was entitled to spew out whatever I thought.
No matter how clever you wrap it up, negativity is negative and isn’t worth spreading to people who don’t want to hear it.
Those who feel that sense of entitlement that they can do and say whatever they want obviously don’t care about those around them. As long as their little world is going smoothly, everyone else isn’t important. But when things aren’t going smoothly, then those entitled people feel their rights have been violated.
They forget we all have rights, that no one should be considered better than someone else, and that we all have a worth equal to everyone else. We all have the right to be respected, to be treated with compassion, to be understood with an open-minded, and to be treated equally.
Whether it’s technology or just a wrong step in our social and mental evolution, those that feel that sense of entitlement might want to get used to talking to and about themselves, cause eventually, no one else is gonna be listening, or caring, about them.