Not saying yes

One important thing to bear in mind when talking with people about missions: if you ask someone about the engagement of groups, they might say Yes, this group is engaged, or No, that group is not.

Failing to say either yes or no is not the same as saying definitely one or the other. In many cases we might know of a “yes” but can’t say it out loud. It’s not the same as saying “No,” so we shouldn’t assume.

Further, in some cases, people say “not engaged” when they know the group is. Yes, that’s a lie, a deception. I’m not endorsing that, but sometimes people don’t want to say “yes” because it would draw attention. They might say “no” on a public list because it is a public list.

And, sometimes people say “no” because they think the answer truly is “no,” but they simply don’t know.

So, when asking about engagements, I would treat “yes” and “no” as probabilistic statements to be held lightly.

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