Dialogue With Donna
A comment and "aha moment" was shared later by a participant who had not previously realized how powerful information and knowledge could be. Knowledge and information was for the possessor only, not something to be distributed or shared. What truly amazed this participant was the powerful means in which not only could others assist her better when fully informed, but also how knowledge transfer could ignite change and initiate social improvements.
That lead me to think about how valuable our freedoms in America are, especially our First Amendment Rights, and how difficult it is to reinstate them in a country after generations of political repression under a dictatorship. "Genetic memory" is strong and fear of moving outside the lines for many appear to remain here in Chile. Yes the bird cage door is now open with the new and democratically elected administration, but many are still not aware they are free to fly.
During the pre mid-term elections the NY Times published an article (October 23, 2010): Name That Freedom. The article reports of political candidates and politicians and Americans in general apparently know little about what the First Amendment guarantees.
The First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University has looked at Americans’ familiarity with its eponymous portion of the Bill of Rights, and the results would make Thomas Jefferson weep. While 61 percent of those surveyed this year knew that the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, just 23 percent volunteered that it also supports freedom of religion, and 18 percent cited freedom of the press. Freedom of association? Fourteen percent. Only 6 percent of those polled could cite the right to petition the government for grievances, the fifth major freedom guaranteed under the First Amendment.
Ours is an information-based nation powered by ideas and argument, shared knowledge well managed and transferred to others to create new and innovative concepts. Of course now with the Wikileaks that concept may be taking on a more attenuated approach with some questioning where freedom of speech and press should end and the need for censorship and tighter controls on information distribution begins.