We always feel that suppression of opinion is something that could never happen to us, especially within our families- primarily because they are our families and support our views, at least I thought so. Something I had never experienced happened today, the conversation over lunch was light and congenial, until a family member told me I was too “opinionated” and that I didn’t realize it, and that it would lead to my downfall. The fact that I am informed and then have an opinion about issues should be respected, at least I am not a damn daffodil swaying with the wind of the conversation. When did it become acceptable to tell a person to not have an opinion, especially in the so called “educated upper middle class”? They told me how I shouldn’t question everything, how I should just submit. This is what is wrong with our country. We may blame the government for these fallacies (lack of freedom of speech), however, the concept of submission to those “wiser and older” is excessively inherent in the thought process of people today. I was told not to critically analyse things, to take whats given to me and roll with the punches. I was told to not question an elder, because they know better. I was told to subject myself to the will and (ironically) opinions of others, just because I didn’t know better. I was told to stop having an opinion about everything, it was arrogant and egotistical. The reason we are one dimensional is because of this very suppression. We are expected to be confused about everything, not feel for things, not stand up for issues that move us and not question. We are expected to be part of the crowd in our thinking and stand out only because of our academic performance. Our personalities can go to rot for all they care, for at least we succumb to the expectations of society. They tell me that I must go to church more, that if given a chance I would always cook up an excuse not to go. How is my faith directly proportional to the number of times I go to church or any religious house for that matter? Why is it alright for you to tell me who to set my faith in? Why is it alright for you to demean me for not conforming to your beliefs? Why is it alright for you to suppress my voice by calling me ignorant and naive? Why is it alright for you to expect me to just be another person? Why is it wrong for me to want to be an individual?Why is it wrong of me to have faith and beliefs that offend you and why do they offend you? I respect your values, faith and opinions, why can’t you respect mine? Why is it that I am characterized as a “radical” or “extremist” when I do not conform to your values? I never called you that for differing from mine, who gives you the right to do that to me? Don’t you want me to be an individual? Or I am allowed to be one only when it is convenient and satisfies your fancies? While I respect you, you demean me and resort to name calling. While I never impose my opinions on you, you demean me for standing up for mine when you try to suppress me. I understood the word “individual” from you, what it stood for and how it inspired me. But now I understand that it was just convenient at the time.