Thought For The Day #5311 September 2015
Broadcast 11th of September 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol
So tomorrow we’ll find out who the new Labour leader is. It’s been a dramatic election leadup and I think we’ve all been surprised by the fuss it’s caused. I’d very much like to weigh in with my opinion about it all, but I’m not. Which is a shame because I’ve talked this over with my mates and they agree I’m totally right! Instead I actually want to talk about why it’s so hard to talk about politics.
I’m actually really quite shy and, somewhat ironically I know, find it hard to talk in front of other people. In a social situation I will generally let other people do the talking and I’ll only reveal my true feelings to close friends. In fact my silence is quite often picked up on by others, to which they reassure me it’s fine to share my opinions.
Now I’d like to make a brief digression to public urinals; it is relevant, so bear with me! As has been customary for centuries, perhaps even millennia, men, and in some cultures women, have weed together. This is completely and utterly socially acceptable, yet nevertheless I still find it a bit odd. I know full well that it’s totally fine, but something in my body just makes it that much more difficult than when I’m on my own.
I’ve often wondered if something similar happens when sharing personal opinions like political ones? Okay, we’re not all as shy as me! But what if somehow our bodies tense up a little just as we’re about to express ourselves? Like somehow we’re trying to overprotect ourselves from vulnerability, laughter, rejection or ridicule?
Maybe, I don’t know. It’s just a thought. What I do know is that political opinions and bodily functions are perfectly natural and we all have them. Just, uh, try not to make eye contact.