If I Was Threatened

My friend asked me last night:

If you were threatened and told to stop writing about something, would you stop writing about that ?

What ever ‘that’ might be.

Wow.

Living where I live, I never ever thought of that as something I would have to consider.  But after the events of this week the least I can do out of respect is consider this question.

It’s a reality.  People are killed for their thoughts and ideas and opinions.  And expressing them.   That is beyond my comprehension.    People believing they have the right to kill another human being over disagreements and differences is beyond my very basic sense of right and wrong.  I can’t, cannot, grasp this.   But it’s real.

If I was threatened and told not to write something, would I write it anyway.  Is this a reality, for me?

I don’t have an easy answer.   The ‘how dare you’ part of me would want to write and write and write.

The part of me that sits stunned watching the news thinks I don’t care how ballsy I would wish to be, people are mourning the loss of people they love,  right now,  because others feel they have the right to kill over differences and disagreements and written words.

I can’t get in to the politics and world debate about all of the terror and horror circulating us right now.  I don’t know enough.  I don’t understand enough.   But people are dead.

I wanted to immediately respond ‘hell yes!’ but I didn’t say that.  I just looked at him.

I wanted to answer with a brilliant response that put everything in to perspective and made sense out of insanity.  But I can’t find sense in any of this.

I tried to talk it out.   If I got an anonymous threat that came from half way across the world posted anonymously in some vague way vs. a hand written message handed to me, or a verbal message given to me-face to face.   Would that change my answer to this question.

want to say with the courage and conviction of what ever it is I am writing about that I would.  Yes, indeed, I would write about what ever it is I want to write about.

But then I see that people have died.  Again.  And it makes me keep thinking before I answer hypothetically.

I want to believe that I will very nervously write, speak and support my truths.  I may be fearful, but that’s okay.  I may tremble more than I admit to, or maybe I’ll freely admit to trembling so badly I can barely walk.  Or maybe, possibly but less likely, be brazen and full of piss and vigor and express myself with nothing but pure energy and security in what I am saying.  To hell with the threats.

know that expressing I had been threatened to not express my beliefs would garner me support.  Even from those who don’t agree with me but support my right to speak freely.  But can howls of support deafen a whisper of a threat?

The only answer I can come up with is….yes.  Yes.  Yes I will want to write, or speak, even if threatened not to.  But like all things in life that we don’t know unless it happens to us, I don’t and won’t know, unless it does happen to me.

And hope I never have to answer that question in reality.

 And to those who have I support your right to do so.

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35 thoughts on “If I Was Threatened

  1. bikebrown says:

    I agree that none of us can truly know what we will do unless we are forced to make that decision.

  2. My first response to what happened in France is the wrong done is called murder. If your kid’s ball accidentally ends in your neighbor’s driveway and he hates kids and toys, does it give him the right to come over with a rifle? I know it’s all more complicated than that. We are taught to be tolerant, but not all of us are, neither are they, whoever ‘they’ are. My apologies. I see red at the moment.

  3. very deep and thoughtful and so true I don’t know what I’d do… For now, it’s too pensive and raw to even comprehend.

  4. Excellent question. I hope none of us do. (Hugs) xo

  5. I think I would go through a process (based on my reactions to other things in the past) I would immediately stop. I would be sad about stopping. I would start to get angry at myself about stopping. I would get angry at those who threatened me. I would start again.
    Diana xo

    • That sounds reasonable. I have to admit, I was surprised at my friend’s question. It never occurred to me. On occasion I have hesitated to write something, or chosen not to, because of how I felt about it. I have decided against writing something because I don’t always feel it’s ‘my’ story to tell, or for whatever reason. But it’s ‘my’ choice. But I never wondered what it would feel like for someone else to tell me what I could or could not write about.

  6. wluoga says:

    very sorry…

    its good and passionate to do things which you are interested with..

    i cant rely on somebody’s decision whether to write or not..

    always keep on following what your heart and mind wants you to do

    • It’s what I must do wluoga, and that is good suggestion. Thank you.

      • wluoga says:

        follow your heart and your mind… if you combine the wish of these two ingredients, no one to decide for you and you will never commit a mistake in taking decisions.

        The worst and biggest enemy in this world is inferiority (fearing). If you do fear, you won’t move step ahead while others will use your weakness in advancing ahead….

        • Wisely said Wluga. I believe that would be my motivation to continue on, to speak or write even when I feared to do so…. that if I did not – then someone would use my silence to advance their negative agenda. I ‘think’ that is what would motivate me. I hope it would.

  7. christina debi author says:

    My deepest respect and sympathy to all those hurt by what happened in France.

    It’s true wluoga ‘always keep on following what your heart and mind wants you to do’ and yet in some ways that is exactly what is going on. The terrorists are doing just that, following their beliefs.

    So what are we to do?

    Obviously those of us who consider ourselves sane and law-abiding follow our hearts for goodness and love, but what of those who are following their hearts for terror and murder because that is what they believe in?

    There is a war going on about beliefs.

    So we need to always remember to examine our hearts and minds and keep ourselves in touch with beliefs of goodness and love. I don’t who it was that said that everyone is capable of being a Mother Teresa or a Hitler but it’s a true statement.

    The very heart of freedom is love. While following our heart and minds we can’t forget the ingredient that the terrorists leave out: following a heart and mind that is filled with love and compassion for others. Maybe by practicing that in our lives and spreading it through our societies we will be stronger on our side of the battle. Just a thought.

  8. markbialczak says:

    Tough question. Good consideration. Great answer. Yes, Colleen. I’d worry and write, too.

  9. TEARA90 says:

    Feels great to read and hear opinions like the many you posted in this blog….social and general media are such crucial tools for generating as well as dialing down people’s awareness or strength for that matter… on various issues… The world now… should have abundant fearless writers like you ..so cheers to you!!! Keep it going 🙂

  10. Mustang.Koji says:

    Powerful words. First, it is a religious war…and it is escalating. Our leaders – worldwide too – need to stare this fact right in its face. But if you – we – stop writing what we feel, they would have won. We should fear our own government too as it seems they selectively choose when something is not to their liking.

    • What happened in France, and other places, did prompt my friend to ask the question. But he did not make it specific to that topic. He made it very general and even said so. He wondered how I would feel about writing, in general, if I was threatened about my writing. I do agree there is fear and it is escalating.

  11. jmgoyder says:

    I feel uncertain about so much.

  12. I had begun a reply to your post Colleen but stopped half way because I had too much to say. Such a great post. I can’t imagine what it is to lose freedom of speech, I did grow up that way but was far too young to realize the implications of not having that freedom of expression. When I moved to a place where freedom was valued, I became aware.
    So much of the worlds’s problems have evolved into chaos and war, I don’t know when it will end, what I do know is that fear has touched us in so many ways and heightened our worries for safety, that all we really do have is the power of speech, the ability to write and express. Long may it live!

    • AMEN to that MediatingMummy!!!! I said a long time ago that if the world leaders, the people who create this kind of chaos, had to sit in a room full of mothers, they would NOT get away with this kind of behavior and ineptitude. They would resolve these issues and do so with respect and dignity and without bringing the world to war.

  13. niaaeryn says:

    Very profound and true. It is hard to day what any will do until you are actually faced with the situation. I had that experience with a lockdown (not a drill) and was still not fully tested. You sit there wondering as you hear the cops yell outside. If this was it what would I do? Thankfully I still do not have to know the full answer.

  14. April says:

    Hrm. I feel the same, and I have nothing further to add except that I wish all who believe that freedom of expressing ourselves should not be at the expense of insulting another’s idea. We should be able to say what we need to with compassion and respect of others.

  15. Gibber says:

    I’m with you, I hope it never happens. I couldn’t answer it either because I’m not in it.

  16. I love this thought-provoking post today. It has me thinking as well. Thank you.

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