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.