Has society become captivated with stifling voices?

Has society become captivated with stifling voices?

Book cover courtesy of Amazon.com

John Grisham has written numerous successful novels, including "Sycamore Row."

Joyce Melendez, Staff Writer

Novelist John Grisham has been in the news recently, regarding his comments on America’s prison system. In an interview with the UK’s Telegraph, Grisham conveyed his thoughts on the punishments that go along with viewing child pornography.

In the interview, Grisham mentions a friend of his was sentenced to three years in prison for viewing child pornography, he explains that his friend was drinking during the time. While Grisham does not condone the actions, he believes men that accidentally stumble upon child pornography “don’t deserve harsh prison sentences.” While Grisham’s friend was impaired and lacked the ability to make a conscious decision, controversy still surrounds sentences regarding child pornography.

When discussing a serious issue, such as child pornography, individuals need to be aware that their thoughts may offend other people. While having the ability to think should be commended, an individual’s first thought might not be their best.

People have the right to express their opinions but there needs to be some sensitivity with serious issues that impact society. As human beings, individuals are flawed and while people were offended by Grisham’s comments, he should not be crucified for speaking his mind. Grisham’s comments could easily be taken out of context and therefore it is important to educate oneself on a situation before jumping on the bandwagon and attacking an individual. Generally, the opinions of others should be taken with a grain of salt.

In a society that is quick to attack an individual who goes against a certain ideology, it seems that the best thing to do when sharing an opinion is to think it through. Since people are easily offended, individual should be aware of that before speaking, but in the end, people should not have their thoughts stifled because they express a different perspective on an issue.

In this day and age, technology and the spreading of news can, at times, cause problems in society. An individual should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. Comments made by individuals can easily be taken out of context, therefore it is important to not get caught up with the negativity that others associate with a particular individual or ideology.

It is easy for a well-known individual to receive backlash, because people might hold them to a higher standard. Regardless of that fact, mistakes are part of life. While some are minor, there are some that take on a life of their own, this may occur because social media ignites conversation. Since Grisham is a well-known novelist, society might disagree with his views due to the fact that his beliefs go against the beliefs of many individuals.

With the comments made by Grisham, it is understandable that people got offended but getting upset at a novelist is not going to solve the problem of there being child pornography. Instead of focusing on an individual’s comment, people should educate themselves on the issue being discussed.

In the end, beliefs expressed by individuals should not cause such anger. People are flawed and at times do not think before they speak. Even if an individual were to process their opinion and share it, they should not feel obligated to apologize if it were to offend others. There is a struggle with having a voice in today’s society and having it stifled because it goes against what people believe in.