Your Own Private Idaho
By Col. "Tip" Stinnette, 39th Air Base Wing commander
/ Published January 25, 2007
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
A builder was working on a construction job with an apprentice electrician. The builder was wearing a pair of worn-out pull-on boots. On this particular day a pebble got into his boot and he steadied himself with a hand on the wall and proceeded to shake his foot vigorously in an attempt to free the pebble. At that very moment, the apprentice electrician walked around the corner and saw the builder shaking like mad. He immediately realized the man was being electrocuted! Remembering his trade school safety class, he grabbed a shovel, and with one quick swipe he smacked the shaking builder across the forearm ... shattering both bones. The pebble fell out of the builder's boot on the way to the hospital.
You have got to love the enthusiasm of the apprentice electrician. As our intrepid apprentice learned, not everything is as it appears to be. Perception is reality for the perceiver. In other words, what you believe, is your own little truth regardless of the facts you do not know. As the song says, we're all staring at the world from our own little Idaho. In our case, we're all staring at the world from our own little Incirlik. We live in a small community with big ears and beady eyes. In effect, we all live in glass fish bowls. We must shape our conduct within this context. There is no private Idaho. MySpace.com should more appropriately be named OurSpace.com, private-chat is more like public-chat, and behind-closed-doors is more like in-full-view.
Here's my point, it's hard enough to keep from getting electrocuted and smacked in plain view that we do not need to complicate things with questionable conduct when we think we are living in our own private Idaho. Better yet, commit yourself to walking the talk and you will not have to worry about keeping your Idahos separate. Live every minute of your life as if you are in full public view while ensuring freedom's future.