I was in a cab last week. The driver was from Afghanistan and we got to talking. He told me about the political history of his country since the early part of the 20th century. Sometimes it was hard to hear him so I leaned forward in my seat. After awhile, I asked how long he’s been here and he said twelve years. Then I asked him what he likes most about America.
“Freedom of speech,” he said. “Where I am from you look but you cannot see,” he covered his eye with his left hand. Then he put his hand over his ear, “You listen but you cannot hear.” He touched his forehead. “You think but you cannot speak.” He looked at me in the rear view mirror.
“I am a passionate man. Here, I can speak my mind and not be afraid of going to prison.”
I felt aware of how I take the freedom of speech for granted. But in that moment, I appreciated it like never before.