As I am writing today about something that is important to me, I realize that my thoughts about the subject may not be important to you. In fact, you may greatly disagree with the thoughts I have to share today in my video and in my blog. Nonetheless, these thoughts are mine. This webpage is still mine to do with what I please, and I still live in a country where the thoughts and ideas of its people can hopefully still be spoken in freedom, at least on paper. You may recall a document called The Bill of Rights, Amendment 1.

Words are powerful, to say the least. Our opinions can become inflamed with emotion at the hearing of certain words. So our ability to pause, think through, research, and calculate a response if one is even required is extremely important. Listening completely, respecting fully, and then responding with understanding using our own thoughts and ideas is extremely important.

Sometimes, someone might just make an observation. What I see quite frequently now is our emotional need to immediately attack opposing rhetoric, to villainize it, and to claim that it should be silenced if we judge it to be out of favor with the assumed status quo.

There have been many great leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr. whose birthday we celebrate today, that people have tried to silence during times when diversity was not honored and respected. We did not stand for it then and we should not stand for it now.

Free thought and free speech cannot and should not be controlled by any government, and in this country are our inalienable right by law. The private sector of social media may do as they wish regardless of whether or not they opine that they are a platform for everyone. They obviously are not. We see that now, and our freedom allows us another choice. The choice to disassociate ourselves with them if we so decide.

You can do this as well if you like, and choose to only surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Me? I prefer to have a variety of friends who know that in my presence they can freely share their thought and ideas regardless of whether I agree or disagree, and they know that I will still respect them for their difference.

Personally, that kind of diverse stimulation of brain activity is scientifically shown to rewire neural pathways in the brain making us smarter and preventing the premature aging of the brain. So I say, bring it on! Let’s hear it! The more diverse the better.

I honor Dr. King today by asking you to pause and listen today. As you do, are your thoughts coming from a place of love or ego and fear? What about your response?

And if you want change to reflect your way of thinking, remember, you can still vote, you still have a voice, and for now, in this country, you still have the ability to do so according to our Constitution.

Diversity = Strength