What accounts for difficulty in my topic’s conversation is honestly a little bit of everything…Capital Punishment can definitely be an unpleasant/emotional burden and it can also be a complex/cognitive burden.
I have a pretty set stance on the Death Penalty, so I feel less uncomfortable expressing my view in conversation, but when it comes to writing about it, it feels different. When I don’t know my entire audience, I feel the need to be more filtered and more reserved in the direction I can take the writing. I have found it relatively easy to talk about the facts, or the history, or anything more on the black and white scale. I think this is why I’ve had a difficult time coming up with an experiment that I am genuinely excited to explore. The facts are safe, but they’re boring and they’ve been done so many times before. So, without meaning to, the cognitive and emotional burden of my topic has caused me to fall into the “lowest common denominator of effort” category.
There is also a feeling I have along the lines of “what right do I have to even be talking about this topic?” I don’t know anyone directly who has been incarcerated and I don’t know what it is like to have a family member or loved on on Death Row. What right do I have to take part in this personal, emotional conversation? I feel an emotional burden, not so much in the sense of being too uncomfortable to broach the topic, but rather in that no matter how much research I do or how many people I talk to, I’ll never have the right to write something real and meaningful because I don’t understand it firsthand. I consider myself to be an extremely empathetic and compassionate person who can usually put themself in other’s shoes, but its not the same.
The reason I want to be a Civil Rights Lawyer or Criminal Defense Lawyer is because I know what it feels like to be the person who didn’t have a voice and felt helpless to fix their own situation, and I don’t want anyone to have to feel like that. I want to help give people a voice and empower them. I think all of this places a pretty large emotional and cognitive burden and leaves me frozen and unsure what direction to go in.