Posts Tagged ‘Censorship’

The Censor in us All

Posted: January 28, 2012 in Philosophy
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An interesting thing happened on the way to retirement.  I discovered that I had been a censor in my past.  I had worked for an organization that specifically prohibited me from speaking to the press without explicit approval (and an implied control of what I would say).  I don’t know about the legality of that position, but the implied consequences of non-compliance would have been non-job.

But I was complicit, a self censor.  After I retired I began to be more outspoken on a lot of topics.  I was not immediately conscious of this change in my attitude.  It was not long that I began to realize I was free to speak on any subject without any threat to my livelihood.  I was “Free to Speak.”  And I did speak more openly about many areas.  Yet, I still continued to be a censor.

Watching my grandson grow up (now 5), I realized that censorship is a learned behavior.  We think it is funny when a child says things like “Why does your face have wrinkles?” and other honest things, but we are none to subtle in correcting or in their presence laughing or apologizing for them.  Some kinds of censorship are culturally expected and people who don’t self-censor are thought of as rude.

So, with age, we may be released from some forms of self-censorship, but not all forms.  It makes honest dialogue something less than honest and communication somewhat compromised.  I suppose the best we can hope for is greater awareness and more thoughtful, less censored relationships.  I wonder if being a politician requires a highly advanced form of censorship and purposeful, calculated, non-censored expressions.