On Censorship

How do you “censor” what you read and watch? How do you censor what you share with others?

It’s a natural, human thing to censor ourselves. We make decisions about what we want to eat, read, watch, and do with our time. We censor what we say depending on who we are hanging out with.

Align With Your Values

It’s good to be intentional about these choices vs. haphazard. We should want to make decisions based on our personal values, things that benefit our lives and that are not harmful. Everyone has different values, but it is a wise person who lives congruently according to their values. It’s great to give ourselves the time and space to really clarify and articulate our values to help us make decisions accordingly.

As business owners, we censor what we share according to our brand, mission, and goals. Ideally, everything aligns with our target market and who we are. This allows scalable growth, as it is easy for others to know what we do and what we stand for.

I had the privilege of speaking to 8th grade Language Arts Classes last week on censorship. They invited different parents and teachers as guests to share their opinions. Much to my daughter’s dismay (who is in 8th grade), I signed up. 😉

The focus actually ended up mostly being on our own rules as parents for our kids, but it sparked many thoughts around censorship in general.

Before the classes, I reviewed some of the questions they prepared: What things do you censor from your kids? How do you think your censoring affects what your kids think? I knew it would be a special opportunity to share about how we try to help our kids make good decisions.

It ended up being a really fun time and a good dialogue with these interesting teenagers, and I hope it inspired them.

Think For Yourself

I told them about how we had homeschooled our kids for many years, which really gave us ultimate control over what they read, watched, and who was a part of their social circles.

But control was not our motivation for homeschooling. Freedom was. Independent thought.

We wanted our kids to read as much as they could and tried to put intelligent thoughts, language, and ideas in front of them from different perspectives and backgrounds. When they read something, we didn’t make them respond to carefully selected questions, but instead asked, “What do you think? What do you like about this? What do you think the author was trying to say? Do you agree with it and why?”

Choose What’s Beneficial

I told the class that our goal as parents was not to censor our kids, but rather to help them learn from a young age how to make good decisions for themselves. “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial” I shared. (I Cor 10:23) Sure, they had access to everything in the library or on their devices, but how would they choose to spend their time? We encouraged them to find things they cared about and were curious about and pursue those things. One child loved nature and animals, and would binge on Natural Geographic and Planet Earth episodes. Another child kept up with all things Apple and newsworthy.

I encouraged the students at Summit Middle School that it’s better to think about a big goal or dream you are going after and then use that as a filter to determine which things fall in line with that goal. That’s the best way to censor yourself. That’s easier than getting bummed out about the things your parents are telling you not to do.

Censor Well

It was a good reminder for myself, and I’m guessing all of us in business and life.

What big things are we going after as individuals and companies.

Do our products, employees and systems all fall in line with our goals and values? How do we fill our days as families? Let’s “censor” ourselves a bit more and make sure we’re going after those “beneficial” things in order to live our best lives and make the biggest impact in our community and world around us.

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