The Importance of Uncomfortable Conversations

Click the link to listen to Ep. 101 || That Was Awkward – A Conversation about Abortion and Drugs, and prepare yourself for some of these highlights:

uncomfortable conversation


Uncomfortable conversations are important. They aren’t the only thing you’ll hear on Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered, which just went over 100 episodes!!!

Episode 100 was a lighthearted one. Ben and Jason had their wives on the show to talk about the life of Threads from idea, all the way to episode 100. Over the course of the episode, the group listened to messages a few past guests–and some fellow podcasters–recorded and left for the guys in celebration of their 100th show. (Of course, they saved the best message for last. (OK, maybe not the best, but the only one that was mine.))

But, as things in the Threads-verse tend to do, sh*t got real after that 100th episode. The boys were fast at those uncomfortable conversations again on episode 101.

They kicked off the hundreds barrier with a celebration and reflection, then rooted down for a pair of uncomfortable conversations.

“Things become taboo and divisive because we allow them to be. Because we’ve NOT had uncomfortable conversations…”

Ben Kraker, episode 101

Uncomfortable Conversation #1: Abortion

Oh boy…

Well, no side-stepping or sugar-coating, right? Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered is about real life–no filters

So here’s a macro-glance at what went down:

Jason and Ben did their usual banter for about 8 minutes: Jason’s small studio upgrade announcement, and Ben’s rant about overly-aggressive club soccer advertisements, the last show, and so on.

Then the guys started talking about abortion. Well, not so much a back-and-forth, at first, so much as an open conversation about all the things they don’t know.

When does life start? Is an embryo part of a woman’s body, a unique life…both? Jason tends to lean towards life-begins-at-conception, but doesn’t rule out abortion (as an option for women) entirely. Without coming to solids answers (or opinions, anyway), the guys went through the list of discussing abortion in cases of medical emergencies, rape, the mother being a child herself. Whether the day after pill constitutes an abortion or not. (They both seem to be OK, for the most part, with the day after pill.)

But if you get Ben going on this, prepare for a deeper insight beyond just Is it right or wrong?, because…it’s Ben.

Ben challenges anyone who is pro-life to be consistent with that view throughout life, or, as Ben says, “Be pro-life, not just pro-birth. If you’re gonna say, ‘I’m pro-life,’ be pro-life from womb-to-tomb.”

This led to how abortion clinic protestors should spend their time. They discussed myriad ways people who truly hate abortion could “spend their time and energy…doing something to help women not be in that situation in the first place.”

Though protests, when thoughtfully done can be great at raising awareness (ie BLM).

If a conversation on abortion wasn’t enough awkwardness for one podcast episode…

Uncomfortable Conversation #2: Drugs

While most of the attention was spent on the first topic, the guys finished with an uncomfortable–but maybe slightly more palatable–conversation about drugs.

First of all, did you know that our government used to trade Viagra for intel in Afghanistan? I didn’t until the guys talked about it to kick off the drug talk. It’s true too; I looked it up.

What really got things going was talking about D.A.R.E.

Ben and his wife, Andi, were in D.A.R.E., as well as Jason’s wife, Meaghan. So was I!

Jason was not. Tsk-tsk…

All us millennials remember our D.A.R.E. officers’ names. The program made an impression on kids, but not the one the government had hoped.

“The program doesn’t work, and in fact is counterproductive, leading to higher drug use among high school students who went through it compared to students who did not. Because of those studies, D.A.R.E. lost federal funding in 1998.”

Live Science, March 27, 2012

Generally speaking, the guys agree that the program, and most of the War on Drugs, for that matter, are kind of bullsh*t.

Ben taps into his inner Ron Swanson (they’re both Libertarians) for answers about drugs. “I’m not a big fan of drugs. But is using marijuana recreationally OK? Yes. Is recreationally doing meth–“

Jason: “Yeah, but that’s not really recreational if it’s immediately habit forming…”

And on the topic of gateway drugs, any drug could be a gateway drug. Including alcohol, you wine-sipping, anti-pot, hypocrites!

Ahem… Excuse me.

At the end of the day, the guys think it might be simpler to educate and decriminalize. Let people have their freedom, answer for the consequences, and start–as a whole–treating addiction like a mental health issue, not a criminal justice issue.
The whole idea of for-profit prisons filled disproportionately with black males convicted of non-violent marijuana convictions.

According to, 608,775 people were arrested for only having possession of marijuana. Despite making up 13% of the population, black men comprise of 27% of people imprisoned for marijuana-related charges.

Somethings seems off…

Go have an uncomfortable conversation or two of your own

Remember, we can make things as comfortable or uncomfortable as we want to, to some degree. But comfort won’t push you forward. Get out of your Comfort Zone, and into your Growth Zone!

Later Threadies!


Christopher Tallon writes, podcasts, and…wait a second. Are you actually reading this?

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