Some Things are Worth the Wait

It’s Thanksgiving. What am I thankful for? I’d like to say that I’m thankful for freedom of speech — perhaps the last real freedom we have left, in America (and a few other spots on earth). Freedom of speech makes everything else possible. So long as I can speak freely, or others can speak freely, I know that there is competition in the realm of ideas. This means that human beings can continue to progress. Even when they take gigantic steps backwards, freedom of speech allows for the expression of ideas to correct those errors and get on a right path, once again. Human beings survived the Dark Ages to eventually enjoy the Renaissance — this, without nearly the freedom of speech we enjoy today. Imagine how much sooner the Renaissance could have arrived, had freedom of speech been more dominant. So long as there is freedom of speech, and the freedom of thought that underlies it, there is hope. It’s true that freedom of speech allows for the expression of ideas by stupid and irrational — even evil — people. But if you believe, as I do, that virtuous and rational people necessarily win out over their lesser brethren, then there’s always hope for a better day. I look around today and I see a lot of idiocy, stupidity and ignorance — even willful ignorance, at times … the worst ignorance of all. Yet, I remain hopeful. I know that ideas still matter and that the free expression of those ideas is still legal. So long as that remains the case, good ideas will eventually carry the day. I can wait, if I have to. Maybe I’ll never live to see a better day. But so long as people are free to think and speak, I will know to my last breath that it remains possible.