The largest price of all is often opportunity cost. When we spend our time doing one thing it comes at the cost of another.
Politics has significantly increased the price of certain actions lately. Almost everything that someone says is offensive, emboldening, or politically charged for someone these days.
I don’t know when things became that way. Even in a professional setting I have found that politics bleeds over with far more regularity than it used to. It has been a slow creep in that regard.
I’ve been interested in government policy for a long while now. I have generally avoided politics, even though policy and politics are closely related. Until recently it was unimportant how someone perceived what I was saying because I only cared about the facts that could be determined about different things.
I think it has quickly become impossible to separate out policies from politics. Because of this, the politics have to be embraced.
The opportunity cost of making statements has increased in many ways along with this increased politicization. There are so many things occurring that we now have access to that it is impossible to express something about all of them. It is nearly impossible to even keep up on all of them, even if someone dedicates themselves very much to doing so.
Expressing is the first step in starting a conversation. Persuading comes next, if someone doesn’t understand or doesn’t have the same opinion. The opportunity cost of persuading someone can be great. If you try to persuade someone on one topic and it fails, often times they will be completely unwilling to entertain you persuading them on another, in my experience.
Remember the true costs to everything you are doing. If you just want an outlet for expressing yourself and have no interest in persuading people, that is great and the opportunity cost is minimal. Keep in mind the full cost of being persuasive though.
As someone who is looking at politics, the opportunity cost of taking a political stand is becoming more clear to me. There are 10,000 issues (probably more) that could be moved forward. If we can learn one thing from Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump, let it be that it will be more impactful to select a handful of issues and discuss them at a high level than to try and talk about all issues in detail.
Your message gets lost, as the opportunity cost becomes too high for those trying to understand your message.