How do we get it back?
(Is there room for persuasion? Of course. The earlier the better.)
So we should be keenly aware of any evidence of intimidation in our interactions with other human beings.
Make a note of it.
We must be aware also of a tendency in frightened human beings to identify with the aggressor. The frightened person takes their side.
We’re all vulnerable to being intimidated but the more aware we are of it, the more likely we are to recognize it.
Fear is a powerful force. In America, the second amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms. Will it make a difference if our civil liberties were to be endangered?
It will depend on the civic education of the bearer of arms.
A person with a proper civic education will clearly understand the importance of respecting other people’s rights even if he/she disagrees with their views.
Increasingly, though, in daily discourse, we see evidence that people with strong views on any given subject are intolerant of those who disagree.
The opposing parties don’t want to give in, which leads to the shunning of civil dialogue as a means to building bridges between the dissenting parties.
We’re doing too little bridge building in America today.
Too little of holding conversations with those with dissenting views just to get familiar with the arguments.
Even if no agreement is found, bridge building lets us learn about the other side and that is invaluable, for it informs us about their humanity.
The learning of freedom starts at home, with parents encouraging their children to speak their minds, to feel at ease in expressing their opinions.
‘What do you think, Nancy?’ ‘And what do you think, Tommy?’
‘I hear you,’ replies the parent, ‘And I think this and that.’
The foundation of dialogue is laid out at the dinner table, or in the after dinner chat.
The beauty of it is that the child internalizes the exchange and begins to ask questions about other things as well.
The benefit will extend to the classroom, where the child will ask better questions in class. And also in their interactions with friends.
And so the civic spine of a human being is formed. Step by step.
If children like that want to later become soldiers when they grow up, they will have a sense that their acquired powers are to be used in defense of freedom, not to suppress it.
And so the people of that nation will not be fertile ground to grow a totalitarian regime like in Russia or China today.
Oscarvaldes.medium.com, apple podcasts