Every human being is unique. And it is okay, it is even good. It’s good because the uniqueness of every individual is what makes life beautiful and complete.
However, sometimes human beings have a tendency to try and suppress other people’s thoughts, opinions or beliefs because they are different from their own.
Therefore, you could find yourself being bullied, punished, victimised, discriminated against or all of the above because another person doesn’t approve of your way of life.
If this has happened to you or if it is currently happening, don’t let it happen again and/or don’t let it continue.
Article 33 of the National Constitution states: “Freedom of thought, opinion, conscience, religion, worship and public manifestation thereof is guaranteed by the State in accordance with conditions determined by Law.”
So don’t let anyone force you to think a certain way. Don’t be afraid to speak out even if what you have to say is different from what everybody is saying.
Don’t let anyone force you to say or do something that is against your ethics. And remember that just because a big group of people are doing something, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily right. Don’t follow the crowd.
If you’re religious, it’s okay to think and act in accordance with your religion. If you’re not religious, that’s okay too. It’s within your rights to act on your beliefs.
There is a catch though; don’t ignore the phrase: “guaranteed by the state in accordance with conditions determined by Law.”
This is a broad phrase but in a nutshell it means that even as you act on your rights, stay keen on respecting the constitution. For instance, just because you have freedom of worship, it doesn’t mean that you can disrupt class by bursting into a worship song.
It is also important to remember that just because you are entitled to your opinion, it doesn’t mean that your opinion is always right.
Just because someone doesn’t agree with you, it doesn’t mean that they are wrong. Therefore, always state your position respectfully and be open to correction.
What I’m trying to say is that even as you defend and act on your thoughts, opinions, conscience, or religion, remember that other people have the right to do the same.