My Father Said

“Your freedom ends where the next fellow’s freedom begins.”

This turns out to be a very complicated issue, but it’s well worth spending a lifetime trying. I have been.

“Speak so you can’t possibly be misunderstood.”

I tried for about half a lifetime until I realized communication requires two (at least) and when people decide what I meant before I said it — the task is impossible. So I stopped worrying about what other people said that I said that I meant, and just stuck to checking definitions (both mine and other people’s definitions of the same words) often and diligently. And then we all get mad. Me because they aren’t trying to understand what I really said, and they because they think I’m arguing with what they thought I should have meant by what i said.