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  • Freedom of expression is the matrix,
    the indispensable condition, of nearly
    every other form of freedom

    Justice Benjamin Cardozo

    As infinitely diverse Humans of Planet Earth (HOPE's), we collectively represent a phenomenal range of cultures, creeds, passions, purposes, races, languages, and most fundamentally, beliefs.

    Like snowflakes, each one of us is unique, distinct, individual and miraculous.

    Each of us is on some kind of life path, either by fate, intention or design. But I can say with certainty that no two of us, ever, will believe exactly the same set of ideas and approaches to this human experience.

    I was reminded of this earlier today, when a good friend sent me something with the caption: "You are going to hate this, but..."

    Hate what he sent? No way. I have far too much respect for him to 'hate' one of his heartfelt creations.

    While I completely disagree with the subject promoted in his piece, I would defend in court his right to publish whatever he wants, and would not think less of him for choosing to believe, at this time in his life, barring further experience, that this is something worth talking about.

    His choice, and we are always, always at choice.

    I wrote back to him with an analysis of the material, and stated my objections to it, but then, because he is a friend, I added a postscript:

    I do not have to always agree with the ideas and people you admire and support, as you well know by now. However, I respect you as a friend, and will always be supportive of your sincere efforts, based on your own needs and experience, to follow any path that puts you in closer touch with your God and your happiness, however you may define that happiness.

    This is the least we can do for our friends, given the huge differences between any of us, don't you think? This is a gift we can give.

    Harmlessness. Mindfulness. Appreciation. Compassion.

    Works for me.

    (Photograph in Second Norway, Stave Church, by Alex, in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life)
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