Many people seem to get confused over what freedom means. Some may think that freedom means that I can say whatever I want with impunity. This holds for talking to friends at a bar or posting on social media.

Those who have studied how to live the good and moral life as well as promoting a just society know that with the ability to speak comes the responsibility of using that speech wisely. The Apostle James provides the clearest argument from ancient sources.

If I were 18 again, I’d think that that paragraph is the result of old-people’s thinking. And younger people must rebel against it. That would be adolescent thinking of those whose prefrontal cortex has not fully developed. (I, unfortunately, remember being that age with much chagrin.)

Jesus taught us to love on another. James taught us to tame what we say. Paul taught us to be good citizens in both public life and organizational life. The Stoics taught much the same things. And the founders of our Republic learned from all of them.

Occasionally when I backslide into reading too much news, I need to remind myself of how responsible behavior is a requirement for a just society and a life well lived.

Sometimes this blog reflects what I’m telling myself to do and how to be. I felt I needed the reminder.

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