Three terms are closely related: ability, freedom, and liberty.
A bird is not able to open the car’s door. A person is able to open the car’s door. When ability is misused (for example, a person opens your car and drives off with it), it is an abuse of ability. And this abuse is not only against the person who was robbed—but all people who have cars. Hence, if your neighbor’s house had a robbery, you put a security system on your house. A man has strong physical abilities. When he uses them to harm a woman, not only did he harm that woman in particular—but he harmed all women and gave all people who have strong physical abilities a bad name. Abilities: when people misuse them, we wish they did not have them.
Freedom: it is the default of the self. Speaking is freedom where silence is restriction. Moving around is freedom while being tied down is a restriction. Eating is freedom that allows for other freedoms where being deprive from food is restriction of all freedoms. A bird’s freedom is in flying. A birds restriction is in a cage. A person’s freedom is not in flying. To say, “you are not allowed to fly” is not restricting. Am not talking about planes here (those serve another purpose). We have freedom of speech because silence is a restriction for humans.
I am able to sit down and not move at all. But that is not freedom to me. See the difference? I am able to punch you, but that is not freedom to me. Freedom is the nature of things. And liberty is our freedom in relation to others. I am free to speak. Liberty is in speaking with another person while considering them. I am at liberty to speak with you by knowing how you speak and considering it. I am not at liberty to make you accept not being considered when I speak to you. To dismiss your freedom of speech would be past my freedom and onto the invasion of yours. Are we at liberty to eat meat? Well first we had to say that they have no personal freedoms (in cage). Yet, the truth is that you have invaded the freedom of another; which is evident by its own existence. Its existence says that it has freedoms. An animal has freedom and humans have made it a rightful interaction to eat it (I will speak about that in another paper). Free is personal to you—and liberty is in caring about the freedom of others.
Ability: I am able to harm you. And I am able to get harmed by you. Me acting within the terms of ability is not evidence of what constitutes freedom.Meaning that just because I am able to receive harm, that is not evidence that it is within my freedom to get harmed. And just because I am able to harm you, it is not within my freedom to do so. Because freedom is in nature of existence—where in being harmed, one may no longer exist. If a bird is deprived from flying, it will not be as healthy.
Harm, however, is not an ability. To hurt someone is something that is part of life—the accident/learning part of life. If I am learning to pitch a baseball, then I may accidentally hit you with it. This harm is associated with “inability” or “weakness in ability” OR an accident within our ability (which is there to attest about the importance of intent). Harm righteously fits on the roadway that starts at “not knowing how” and is heading towards the “knowing how”. Between not knowing and knowing: people will harm each other due to that road and not due to themselves. Yet, intentional harm is the creation of a new ability: the ability to be good at that which comes out of “not knowing how”. When one says, “I am hurting others when I pitch the ball”—another would reply, “do you want me to teach you?” or “maybe you should try a different sport” or “take your time..you will get there”. But I should not learn how to pitch so that I can hit you with the ball as if I do not know. I would be skilled at not knowing–and that is an abuse of ability. Ability—we must remember— is not freedom nor is it liberty.
This harm that I just talked about does not fit within freedom. Freedom is in goodness of an ability for the self. Let me ask: Am I free to hit you with the ball? Well, that is not a question of freedom. Am I at liberty to hit you with the ball? Now this requires two people—it is a logical question–it is a question of liberty. And the answer is: Are you playing water balloon fight? Because if so, you can hit someone with it! You would Be at liberty to do that. So even within the terms of “harm” something can be “playful”. Yet, harm has one character: it is restrictive of an ability or the seeking of it. In addition, if one harms you, one is attacking an ability of yours in the process of abusing his/hers.
Is a differently abled person harmed? The harm would be in restriction of seeking an ability. I will get to it in a minute.
Let us speak about Freedom Of Speech:
In comparison to silence (for human beings), speaking is freedom while silence is a restriction within what constitutes a human being. Meaning that in forcing someone to be silent, you are attacking their humanity.
We know something from differently abled people: if someone is born unable to speak as the rest of us, they still seek a way to communicate and replace it. Showing that it is part of being a human–and that they are not lacking in their humanity. If your son was born unable to walk, he desires moving or finding a way to walk nevertheless. Showing that this is part of our humanity and that a person in a wheelchair is not short of it. And if you daughter was born unable to walk or speak as the rest of us: do you say, “she is a woman. Who cares?” No. We feel just as compelled to get her a wheelchair and for her to learn a way to communicate–and she feels just as compelled too. Hence, attesting to the fact that the freedom given to a man is also given to a woman—and neither of them are short in their humanity.
In America, we have the Freedom of speech protected by the constitution. Yet, it is not the constitution that gives us that freedom. Freedom is individual and it needs not to be protected by the law lest one is trying to protect people in seeking it if they are not born with it. Hence, that part of the constitution is mislabeled–YET it is still usable and important for differently abled people. Usually the cases concerning “freedom of speech” should correctly be labeled as: “LIBERTY IN SPEECH”. This should be included in the constitution. Liberty in speech is the use of our freedom of speech in a manner that is considerate of others where it does not consider them only to dismiss them and it does not voice itself only to silence them. Freedom of speech says: it is an attack on humanity to prevent someone from speaking and to restrict them from seeking a way to speak. It just speaks about speaking and communicating as a concept that is part of humanity where if taken away, one feels the need to seek it —and if one was prevented from speaking, then one feels attacked by that. FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS ABOUT SPEAKING ITSELF AND NOT WHAT IS BEING SAID. You cannot say, “writing is not acceptable!” or “sign language is not protected”. BUT, when it come to the law concerning what is being said (the context of this speech), that is related to liberty and not freedom. We all have the ability to curse each other out. To speak is part of our freedom—and in speaking we may curse people out. Consider it breaking a cup while washing it. It may slip out. Liberty is about a situation and it requires the consideration of the people you are speaking to. To not say the “right” thing is something that all of us have done—and we will always continue to do as part of getting to know someone. Liberty is understanding of that. Yet liberty is not undermining of people on purpose. It is not the abuse of freedom and ability. And if you abuse a person using your leg, it does not render your hand harmless. It is collective. The context of your speech is not protected more than your hand is. I may kick you by accident–liberty protects you. If I kick you on purpose, it does not protect you.
AND Trust me: some things said do feel like a slap in the face!