Words Flow Like Rivers
It seems, dear readers, that people of today talk way too much. We talk to our friends on Facebook, our families on the phone, our followers on Twitter, our lovers by text, ourselves in the mirror and when no one’s looking, we even talk to our cats. If this is the free speech everyone was harping on about back in the 60s, well, this must be the future. Never before have people spoken with so many others, or nearly as much. If your parents chose the beach over you and decided not to live on top of a mountain like the hermit you might be, it might take weeks for letters to be delivered—assuming the postman made it through your gauntlet of poisonous animals. Now, though, you can just text them. You don’t have to leave behind your friends, instant messengers solve that for you, and you can even talk to the person in the room next to yours without having to come face-to-face to their judging eagle eyes that buzz over you and find all the defects of your tongue. It’s so easy, you don’t need to even write good. In fact, you may as well find a new use for all those pens. Maybe a divider for your compact disks? But no, dear readers, this is not what they meant back in 1964 when a bunch of students who thought anarchy okay protested with their “FREEv SPEECH” signs. In time, we will change, they thought. They were talking more about the content of the speech, rather than the amount of it. Thanks to them, we are free to talk about sensitive topics like homosexuality and equality. We can shout our fetishes to the wind without fear of reprisal, wear shirts with bad words on them, hide music references in our writing or even publicly discuss the three fates we call our editors; weaving, measuring and publishing our lives, with far more knowledge on grammar than any mortal can hope for—and they cannot edit that out, free speech and all.
But dear readers, we did not change. Humans do not instigate conversations about asylum seekers or gay rights with their baristas, despite how devilishly friendly they are. It is always something safer, like that missing plane, or the weather. Even if you do try to talk to them about your fetishes, they just go all quiet, and they have not made eye contact since.
Humans barely use all the rights and freedoms thousands have fought for in the past. Often for good reason, of course. Most people simply do not feel comfortable talking about taboo subjects, or if they are okay with it, they might not want to make someone else feel uncomfortable by chatting about it. But a conversation can elevate us, bow and shape us, and sometimes the thoughts of others resonate with us for years. For is that not the reason we converse? To find opinions that we cannot otherwise see? Forming your own opinions is a very easy thing to do, but forming someone else’s? You usually need help with that. In this day and age, we need to exercise our minds more than ever.
In years gone by, people did not really care about what was happening in the outside world. They just went on with their lives and let the government deal with whatever great cause needed attention. After all, what can one human do? But now we are realising that it is we who are changing everything. We are finding out that it only takes one person to make a difference. A singular human can have massive impacts on the world. And how can one of our dear readers know that they are making the right changes on the world? We must discuss our thoughts, emotions and intentions with others, and allow them to judge us. It is very easy to see the flaws of others, but quite difficult to see our own. If this were not true any time someone did something annoying they would immediately stop and swear up and down to never do it again, and Hitler would have given up faster than we gave up trying to write about space.
To finalise: we need to talk. Not specifically “we”, just in general—humans. “We” talk all the time, however, we have chosen to not tell you that. To better ourselves we need to gather opinions from all ways of life, and we need to gather opinions on our opinions. Without conversation, our lives would become perpetually incomplete.
But take everything with a grain of salt. Think about things before you commit to an opinion.
Who do you believe?
Until next time.
Hoi Sin does not exist, has never existed and can never exist. But we keep getting articles.