It’s rare these days when somebody wants my opinion. It seems that I’ve “aged out” of relevancy. Or value. At least as far as market research goes.
So, when four educational institutions, each of which I hold in high esteem, asked me to participate in an online survey regarding my political views and behaviors, I happily and energetically agreed. They assured me that I was selected randomly from a large pool but I was selected nevertheless. That felt kinda good.
The survey asked me some general questions that I answered easily and truthfully. Then they began pinning me down with specifics. And that’s where the trouble started. I found myself unable to decide among incremental but significant variations. Variations that assumed that I had all the facts at my fingertips. Variations that assumed I was fully informed and able to assess each and every nuance.
As the survey went on, I became increasingly aware of my ignorance. This was true not just for those things of no particular interest to me but for those things of great interest as well.
When the survey was over, I briefly questioned my right to hold the opinions I do. And those opinions are strong. Heartfelt. Firm. I believe what I believe. I think what I think. I feel what I feel. And I have no plans to change that.
I guess it comes down to this: Ask me your questions and I’ll give you my answers. But, please, don’t confuse me with the facts.
It made me wonder if there are others out there as poorly informed as I seem to be. Others who are in positions to make important decisions without a full and complete appreciation of the consequences. Surely that’s not the case. Because that would be scary. Very, very scary.