Words become thoughts become deeds...

In an earlier entry I tried to put forward an old (but still unsourced) quote:

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

It's a nice harmless little philosophy, right? Just a wee helping hand for everybody. You'll keep on the right track and do the right thing if you don't think too much about the wrong track or imagine the wrong thing. All ideas need a starting point and ultimately for all of them that's always going to be inside someone's mind.

Visualise success and it will follow in your wake. It's a constant mantra from these self help gurus I spend too much time on. So, before a meeting, if you can create and imagine a positive outcome beforehand you'll adopt the personna of someone they want to do business with, or whatever. I'm dismissive in tone but this stuff sort of works.

The unfortunate flip side of this logic is that it provides a pretty seductive argument in favour of censorship! If words and thoughts can naturally become deeds surely it would be better if we tended to those as a preventitative form of crime management? Our police service is already taught, almost as a point of dogma, that prevention is better than anything else when it comes to crime.

If we could censor violence from Television and Cinema screens, for example, surely we'd cut it down in real life as well? People mimick films all the time. They serve as advertisements for a lifestyle of violence. All it takes is one or two percent of their audience to copy their fictional examples and we've got a big problem on our hands.

"Yeah, but, not everybody who watches violent films is violent, I've watched loads and I'm ok". Sorry buddy, your argument is the wrong way round, who was it you thought we were trying to protect here? Those who watch the films or those who are attacked as a consequence? Those who get caught up in a bad situation because they like violence, in films, or those who are merely in the wrong place at the wrong time are two distinct people. The former was always on the "wrong" path where the latter is "innocent".

Imagine a film that portrayed one race of people (Jews, Blacks, Whites, any will do) as fit for nothing other than out and out destruction. All it did was show you how ugly and wrong that race of people were. Everytime one of them was killed a big cheer went out from the crowd. Would you be ok with that playing on cinemas all around the UK every night, to packed out crowds?

What, you'd use censorship in that instance but not when it was something you liked, such as a horror film? Oh dear...

The argument for censorship is very persuasive.

That this is the case is a symptom of all the rot our nation faces when it comes to the boneless zombies who flap about debating such issues. Here's the reality of the situation. Censorship is not something someone else can fairly determine for me, as an adult. What one may find shocking another might dismiss as a picture of a harmless spider. We don't know what sets other people off because everyone is different. That's why what you choose to watch or not watch is your personal responsibility.

This is MORE true of anything I choose to do to someone else. If I think it's time to attack someone physically I must take responsibility for that. It's not their responsibility, or someone else's, it's mine. I hit them.

The need people have to drop their own sense of responsibility is awe inspiring to me. They'd much rather have someone else take the blame, or even sometimes the credit, if they can remain anonymous and inconsequential. These timid fools who advocate censorship do so because they would like their tastes and habits to be someone else's responsibility. Nothing more.

Interesting how an idea can lead to different places, re-read the other entry and you'll see what I mean.

NM

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