The right to not agree

A woman with long legs laying on a bar

This democracy and equal rights thing is great, isn’t it? Everyone can do and say as they please and no-one need worry about being sidelined because they know the law stands on their side, right? Right? What about when you don’t agree?

So we are all on the same, even keel, sailing and navigating the waters of life to the best of our individual ability. What though when things don’t quite work out as planned – or expected.

We are often entertained by statements along the lines of “Freedom of Expression” but it seldom seems to be the case that the people saying it either mean it or knows what it means. The same applies in the situation of equal rights.

When it comes to freedom of religion, applying it to all religions doesn’t sit well with everyone, nor does the idea of marriage being between any people who have that desire, irrespective of the mix of sexes involved. Not even what constitutes what people should be allowed to say, or not, is officially agreed upon.

This freedom thing gets really tricky when it starts to circle the edges of what a “normal” society of “normal” people decide is “normal”. What are the limits to freedom, should there be limits to freedom, can there be limits to freedom, is it really freedom if there are limits, who decides what the limits are and can the limits be challenged – also what are the repercussions for exceeding the limits of freedom?

Testing the limits of anything invariably means breaking things. It is only once you exceed tolerances that you know for sure what the absolute limits are before failure occurs. People are not keen on having their limits tested though, especially when the group has decided how things should be and then hear the voice of differing opinion.

The savagery with which dissent is treated proves that, as a society, we are not ready or capable of true freedom. We are full of judgement and lack tolerance the moment that line is crossed – and anyone who truly values freedom crosses it often.

The question we need to have answered is quite why there is such need for judgement and sanction, how these judges are elected and what makes them think they are qualified to sit in judgement in the first place.

The next time you see a social media post copied/pasted ad nauseam across profiles, the latest trend or challenge taken up blindly and justified (remember how fidget spinners were claimed to be the perfect device for those suffering attention problems, lasted long didn’t it?), the appearance of fads, diets, the latest share of “vital information” wonder if the people attached are the same as those issuing summary judgement on the people around them.

Perhaps there’s a trend of its own to be found there …

On a final note, have you ever looked up and tried to spot George? Sir William Hershel originally discovered George back in March of 1781 while searching the heavens for double stars. In fairness, George was actually named Georgium sidus after King George III. The name didn’t prove particularly popular though and you’ll find it much easier nowadays if, instead of George, you search the skies until settling on Uranus.

Author: Morné Condon

Automotive journalist in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, following new models, old cars, car clubs and motorsport. My interests are not restricted to the automotive environment, although this is where I am mostly to be found.

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