April 19, 2009

This isn’t a rant – rather a reflection about my rants and the implications of my rants. You know: all my social and political commentary.

Do you remember Seth Godin‘s “Google doesn’t forget” blog? I wrote about that a while ago. Seth’s point was that what you say (or do) on the Internet is with you always. Public and available.

In that same blog, I said that I knew the risk I took sharing my social and political comments on my website. I figured that someday someone would avoid me because of what I say here.

Well, it happened. I was considered for something, even though the organization knew my very progressive political and social beliefs. The organization figured I could add value. And as I said to them, we would discuss business, not political and social beliefs.

But upon further reflection – and the realization that I’m so “out” on my website – the organization decided not to work with me. (And I think they were right. Given its religious mission, the organization couldn’t work with someone who is as publicly vocal as I am. As Seth said, “Google doesn’t forget.” People will find me on the Internet and will find my beliefs. That wouldn’t work for this group.)

So now how do I feel? Do I have the courage of my convictions? What if other organizations do the same thing? How might this impact my business?

After the telephone call with the organization, I walked upstairs to Tom’s office and told him the story. He asked me, “so what do your ethics say?” My ethics say “speak out.” More than that: my values tell me that silence is consent and there’s too much silence in the world. I choose not to be silent. More than that: I choose to agitate.

Yesterday I was listening to NPR while driving to a client session. The NPR journalist (I think Scott Simon) was talking about whether someone has the “character to make hard decisions, take risks, and accept the consequences.”

I hope that I do. I hope that I do always.

Filed under: Social Commentary

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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