I’ve grown ever fonder of this childhood saying with age. It’s a saying as fine as aged wine.
Having a child, and diving back into baby books, nursery rhymes and all things tiny human related, often leads me to wonder why we stop replaying their grand messages as we grow up.
Dr. Suess books get covered in dust before they are tossed in tubs and thrown out on a garage sale, or tucked in the basement for our children’s children.
Children’s cute and clever songs are replaced with modern hits and pop culture in all its glory takes over the hearts and minds of our littles.
Just as quickly as their messages captured our hearts, they are forgotten. Left behind.
In the wake of today’s landscape, I think it’s a perfect occasion to revisit one particular message:
“Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”
However, when we get what we wish for, we quickly realize there major impacts we weren’t expecting.
I’ll play out a couple examples to show how as grownups, we may get some very unintended consequences for our ‘wishes’.
Imagine with me, Nike releases a new ad campaign featuring hotly debated ‘hero,’ Colin Kapernick. Some rejoice at the message while others set out to burn the clothes they’ve already paid for to protest the protester. It’s an act of who can out patriot the other side; while neither are considered acting patriotic by the alternate. In this divided world, some view Colin’s actions a sign of disrespect to our national flag, while others find it to be a means of peaceful protest. You have people cheering on the setting of fire of $300 Nike shoes, while others wishing they’d just donate them to help homeless Veterans in need of foot protection.
Behind the scenes of all the divisiveness, folks on both sides actively try to shut down and out the other;
– That Colin would get kicked out of the country for his disrespect
– That Nike would go up in flames and fail
Consider those things actually becoming reality. The consequences aren’t good for any of us. Nike employs hundreds of Americans, who would be laid off. The CEO wouldn’t be hurt, but fellow middle-class, blue collar Americans would. Should Americans send a strong message to Nike? Absolutely, it’s a free market and we have first amendment rights. Exercise them.
And while exercising them, let’s keep in mind that Colin is exercising his. Imagine if he were to get kicked out of the US for exercising that right. Yahoo! Our wish come true you think.
But for that to be reality means that our first amendment right would only be extended based on what you were speaking out about. Someone would have the power to determine what is acceptable speech and what is not. Anything that threatens our first amendment right is very hazardous and we need to be sure that our wishes don’t pose a threat to the very rights we love and fight to protect.
Or how about that meme circulating wishing to get The View cancelled? Or Sean Hannity’s show axed? While in theory and quick thinking, we may say “hooorah get that crap off tv!” to one or the other – or maybe even both, I urge you to consider the consequences of what this would mean.
Again, let’s consider how our first amendment rights would have to be trampled on for this wish to come to fruition. It protects our own rights to speak our opinions about x and y shows and it also protects cable network’s rights to carry the shows they want to. If we get a show axed because we don’t agree with what they say, we are walking in dangerous waters. Where would the line be drawn on what is acceptable and what isn’t? Can you only exercise your right to speak if you speak the ‘truth’? What is the truth today anyways? Is it fact? Is it alternative fact? Would you only get to speak if your words reflected one side and not the other?
I encourage you, in your wishful thinking to consider how your wish bears great burden and danger to the American people. I encourage you to exercise your first amendment rights to speak your mind. While you do so, I hope you can disagree with others speaking their views while still respecting their first amendment right and being grateful that we live in a land where everyone has such. If you don’t like something – maybe rather than wishing it gone, we just choose to not support it and let it live and prosper or fail and die out on its own merit.
If we wish to diminish one’s first amendment rights, we can’t be shocked when our own is squelched as well.
So, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
- Thank you for respecting my first amendment right to share this. I hope you can acknowledge and appreciate that right whether you find any value to this or not. I welcome your thoughts whether favorable or not because we live in a free democratic republic. THANK GOD.