1984 was banned…

in the USSR for being Anti-Communist, but also banned in the USA for being Pro-Communist. I’m talking about the book by George Orwell. The book can’t be both anti- and pro-communist, so someone must have misunderstood the book.

This is an example of why most people don’t raise their hand for much of anything. They are afraid of being misunderstood and left without a place to live. They don’t want to be outcast. They don’t want to be exiled. It’s a fear that we are born with, and it’s not something that we come to through rational thought.

I’ve been in plenty of meetings where no one wanted to speak up. They aren’t sure of the repercussions of their actions. Will it get me in trouble? Will it land me more work? Will I be outcast from my coworkers by standing out too much?

If you haven’t thought these sort of ideas through, and how you can mitigate them, perhaps that’s why your company, coworkers, and friends aren’t as engaged as you would like them to be.