Joseph Ratliff Writer, Researcher, Thinker

Category Archives: People

On Freedom of Expression (Free Speech)

I wonder how far back in history this “idea” of freedom of expression goes? 10,000 years? Further?

Because I’m confident there was a point where the only confines for what we now call “freedom of expression” were our evolutionary and biological challenges. In short, I think the ideology we keep trying to define in our society IS a restriction on freedom of expression (and speech) in and of itself.

We keep trying to tell each other what is, and isn’t “okay” to say … and when it is and isn’t “okay” to say it (or express it via some other means).

I’ve always asked the question…

Why do we need some document to tell us that freedom of expression is okay?

The answer?  For those that actually want to squash the right to express ourselves (speech or otherwise) in the first place. This implies (to me) that there are some of our species that would us our expression against us (through some propaganda or other means).

What we like and don’t like to express IS a form of expression in and of itself, no? So let’s just all stop, FULL stop, expressing ourselves then. Problem solved, no more debate. We will (all) walk around like silent zombies.

Oh, wait, we can’t do that now can we? But some of us WANT to be the ONLY ones who can speak, express etc… so long as “others” don’t get to.

Mill had produced an excellent set of ideas along these lines. In fact, he inspired my writing here:

Maybe we just can’t handle true freedom of expression, with all of the good (and bad) consequences that will bring? That might be why we keep debating it, arguing about it, and keep trying to dominate other groups with the idea.

I don’t know the answer, but I do wonder who might be afraid to express their version of it in our current society.

Written as a comment on this post.

Why Do People Return To Old, Self-Destructive Habits?…


I know this lady, who is a little ancy when it comes to recovering from an illness, always wanting to get on with her life a little too soon. Sometimes, this behavior has cost her BIG time.

But every time she gets a little better, she does the same thing.  I mean, what does it take to finally listen to the doctor and recover from an illness properly?

I would rather be laid up for 6 months, and recover permanently…than to be laid up for 4 weeks, get a little ancy, and do something destructive because I was bored (and yes, I’ve been there).

So why do people return to destructive habits, never seeming to learn?

I think it has to do with some level of control that these people want to have in their lives, maybe they lose that control, and only feel better when they have that control back…no matter how destructive it might be to their lives. In other words, having this control ends up being the death of them.

Learn to let go of that control people.  It really isn’t as important as you think, plus, letting go of it can actually provide a “freeing” feeling.  At least it did for me (I’m NOT a qualified psychologist or anything, so get whatever professional advice you deem necessary).

I just wish some people would learn to “let go” sometimes I guess.

Self Accountability

It’s no secret that a big hot-button for me is self accountability.

I’m not perfect when it comes to this…but I’m quite versed on the subject as a sort-of “success guru” to many business owners, and have made huge improvements in this area for myself personally.

But, I’m tired of seeing news, media, and other forms of reporting that focuses on blaming other entities and people etc… for our own problems.

When are we going to take accountability for ourselves on a more global scale?

In the U.S. especially, you can see examples of the lack of accountability from our litigious society and how it behaves.

(spilling hot coffee on the lap from a drive through window anybody?)

I mean, come on people…let’s at least do one small action to get started on the path to better behavior here…

When something goes “wrong”, instead of looking at what caused it…let’s first look at how we can do something different within ourselves.  Most of the time you’ll find the problem lies within ourselves…and solving that problem can solve a bunch of future problems that would have been created if we looked for the cause of the problem elsewhere first.

This sounds easy, but really, it isn’t…or more people would do it (and more people should do it).

So take the path less-traveled, and look at yourself and how you can improve yourself first…and your life will begin to improve as a result.