Last night I got a phone call from the Utah Democratic party regarding the environmental practices of the Republican party in the state. The caller read from a script about missile testing in the west desert and power plant development in pristine wilderness. I don't know how long he pontificated (probably less than one minute), but that was enough.
I stopped him and informed him that I'm an environmental engineer who works on permitting projects in every arena that he had just discussed. I went on to say that for the good of my own personal financial livelihood, I was inclined to side with the Republicans on environmental practices within the state of Utah.
I'm fairly certain that my response was not on his list of "here's what to say when the public says this..." I was granted moments of silence. In fact if it hadn't been for the murmurings of other callers in the background I'm fairly certain I would have heard those darn crickets. He eventually thanked me for my time and ended the call.
I hung up the phone and tried to decide if I had ever or would ever have a strong enough political conviction that I would interrupt the public's evening with such a phone call. I still don't know what the real purpose for the call was (although I suspect it was a fundraising effort), but decided that I regularly back away from confrontation and would not be able to do it.
Then I thought about a lunch conversation this week with a coworker and a client. We were discussing the merits (or lack thereof) of wolf hunting. Again, I did not dive in and express a firm opinion. What if I had to back it up? What if I had to explain? Do I really have a preference on this topic? I definitely do - it's just that I prefer to keep that opinion to myself. I'm pretty friendly with this coworker and client, and I still was not comfortable confidently discussing the topic.
So - I'm sitting here on a lovely Saturday morning thinking about my lack of backbone. Is the issue that I don't have an opinion, that I'm afraid of conflict, or that I'm uninformed? I do a lot of reading, but do I need to read more about such topics and solidify my point of view?
I think I just like living in my little bubble where everyone inside this solitary shelter holds my same beliefs. I don't have to disagree or be uncomfortable if no one gets to share opinions other than my own. But then I just put this on a public blog, and I'm sure there are people out there who would slaughter what I've written.
I did it to myself - I broke my bubble for a moment, and I'm curious if anything's going to happen...