I posted something similar to this in the past, just thought the theme of this message needs to be re-posted here at the top of the blog. Found it in one of my many junk e-mail subscriptions. Really good advice in these days of Facebook and Twitter. You never know who is monitoring your online presence.
You are entitled to your opinion, but…
The day after Osama Bin Laden was killed by operators of SEAL Team
VI, Rashard Mendenhall, running back from the Pittsburgh Steelers
went to his twitter account and posted a message.
The message essentially said that he thought it was bad to
celebrate the death of anyone, then rambled as much as anyone can
ramble in 140 characters.
The backlash among fans was not good, so he followed it up the next
day with a rambling apology. The backlash continued.
Some said Mendenhall was only expressing his opinion, and they are
right. He was expressing his opinion and he has every right to do so.
However, what most people don’t understand is, when you express
your opinion, it is not done in a vacuum… there are consequences
for it, consequences from other people.
Free speech does not mean speech free of consequences, it simply
means speech free of restrictions by the government (commercial
speech is not free, unless it’s political or religious in nature).
Mendenhall, to his surprise, was not only greeted with a backlash
from his fans, he was also dumped as a spokesman for Champion
sporting goods who decided he was no longer an appropriate
representative for the brand.
That was probably a good business decision on their part, and a
justifiable consequence–if Mendenhall was expressing an unpopular
opinion (one that could harm their business), they had to let him go.
He is free, of course, to express his opinion in other venues, but
again, that opinion is not free of consequence.
I’ve noticed that very successful people are usually very careful
when expressing an opinion, and usually do not do it to the public
at large. They may do it to a smaller inner circle, but certainly
not to those who are unqualified to comment on their opinions.
So, be very careful when expressing your opinions. You are free to
do so as much as you like, but you are not free from the consequences.
Thinking before you speak or write is never a bad idea, and in this
day and age it’s more important than ever.
Sadly, few people do it.
Thanks for your attention.