I live in a country where I can can share my thoughts and feelings pretty much unrestricted. There are some agreed limits which I’m obliged to observe, but not many and they’re only common sense. I can take photographs most places too. Others have the same rights and obligations.
If I don’t like what someone else writes, draws, says, I have a right to respond by pen, drawing or speech. I also have legal redress against libel and slander. I may choose not to read a publication, my tv, computer and radio have an off button and I can walk away from a person I don’t wish to interact with. Others have these rights and choices too.
I may choose any religion or belief system or none at all. No person can force me to believe that which I think is false nor may I do so to others.
It has been this way since before I was born. It was not always so. Many, many people have died to acquire and defend these rights, these freedoms.
In many countries, people do not have these rights/choices and acting like they do can cost them their lives. Many such peoples aspire to acquire them. Many seek to destroy them where they exist.
I vow to never again take these freedoms for granted. I realise how vigilant we all must be against any attempts to remove these freedoms from us and others. This is better done together than alone.
Apathy is unacceptable and inexcusable. With freedom comes responsibility, obligation.
Freedom is not to be abused but cherished and enjoyed and protected.
Je suis Charlie, es-tu?