Those who wielded the guns at Charlie Hebdo not only wanted to silence freedom of speech.
They wanted to silence freedom of thought.
In both they are mistaken. They don’t understand the power of the pen…
Writing is expressing thoughts and feelings out loud or on paper. Writing is the storyteller’s freedom of thought expressed as freedom of speech.
Writing’s purpose (like other creative activities) is to tell a story. The story’s purpose is so the reader may see or feel or think or hear or smell or touch something they knew or didn’t know differently.
It doesn’t matter if the story doesn’t touch that reader. It doesn’t matter if the story has not changed the reader’s thoughts or feelings or opinions. It doesn’t matter even if the reader hasn’t been changed. It’s too late for that.
All that matters is that thought has been freed. All that matters now is that the reader comes face to face with a new thought. And the reader has to deal with that challenge.
It’s that freedom of thought that scares those who wielded the guns. They fear that freedom of thought will challenge their beliefs and find them wanting. They must be at least unsure.
Je Suis Charlie (Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Thought).