personal vs professional opinions

It’s the Friday after a long, turkey-filled weekend for most Americans. Good thing DUITs are not issued (driving under the influence of turkey). I was very affected this year by the tryptophan in turkey. I avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and gluten but now I have to monitor my turkey/tryptophan in take. I felt stoned for hours after eating this year’s harvest of bird. This made me think about our food chain, our mass production of nourishment, and the reasons and impacts of our long haul transportation of edibles.

Let’s consider the recent, and denied, Proposition 37. What is the bi-polar, inhuman, response some us feel when considering hard issues? I was at the dog park this past holiday weekend with a bunch of friends and their relatives. I got into a conversation with one soft-spoken, young male, adult about GMOs after he mentioned that he is a biochemist. I asked his opinion on the topic of GMOs in our production of food. He said, “I do not have a professional opinion.” Then he looked down at the ground and dove his hands into his pockets. When he looked up and saw me watching him and holding the silent boom of his aloof response, he said quietly, “I guess I believe that all people should have the right to choose what they eat.”

Ok. I nodded. Then the man’s brother in law asked me, “Well what do you think Megan?” I told them what I thought about GMOs. I will tell you in another blog.
The point is, the young man separated his “professional answer” from his “personal answer”. Really? Does your professional self get one vote at the polls and your personal self get another vote later that same day? No, they do not. So when did this happen? When did Americans start separating themselves? The industrial revolution? The 1950s reconstruction boom? When the going got good in the 80s and more wealth was created in the USA than we’d seen since the Great Depression?

No matter when it started, or picked up speed along its trajectory, its time for it to stop. Wake up! Form your opinion, read, integrate data, talk with friends, and stop passing the buck on standing for what YOU believe in. If no one in your life demonstrates this kind of self-reliance, change your friends and your environment. Its your life and this country needs you participating in its culture.

–Megan

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