In Jill McCorkles Cuss Time she speaks of a highly controversial method she uses with her child. She calls it cuss time. Cuss time is exactly what you perceive it to be; daily 30 minute intervals across the school week in which she allows her son to say whatever he pleases. She decided to cultivate this eccentric routine after she heard her son after school mouthing profanity to himself on the ride home. She firmly believed that by permitting her son to swear under her supervision she was teaching him something extremely valuable. The confidence to express himself. From this theory she continues to show us how vital it is to have full freedom of expression, and that when we limit expression we limit our potential.
What is freedom of expression? Freedom of expression is being allowed to speak your innermost thoughts and ideas without fear of detainment or overbearing criticism. Why might you ask, is this important to us? McCorkle raises an enlightening point. “By limiting or denying our freedom of speech and expression, we take away a lot of potential.” Think back for a moment to the Civil Rights Movements. There is a very real possibility that without full freedom of expression Martin Luther King Jr. would not have been able to give us his famous “I have a dream” speech. Delving even further into the epitome of expression is Rosa Parks. When she refused to give up her seat on that bus to a white man, that was a strong and physical form of expression. Countless other examples can be given to state the importance of freedom of expression, and that without it we would surely be an oppressed society. We would be culturally, politically, socially, and even physically impoverished.
Without a shred of doubt, our ability to fully express ourselves has unparalleled value. Our thoughts and our ideas are what continue to further our society. Hopefully now you can imagine what it would be like without this wondrous capability. Lenny Bruce sure did, his words, “Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government!” clearly show his fervor for the first amendment. So with this potential I urge you to take advantage. Whether through the use of art, writing, speech or music; express yourself