Acting on Principle

Reading this post – – has triggered a familiar feeling. What do you feel when you read about horrifying things that are done in your name?  That are undertaken to protect you or that claim to protect you? I feel anger.  I feel disgust.  Sometimes, I feel hatred. I feel shame.  Because I have the low-impact, long-term vision of changing the world.  Existing, living the change I want to see.  We talk about compromises and how some are more uncomfortable than others. When I read a post like the one linked above, I realize how many people are being hurt and killed while I hope that my ways will rub off on the people around me.  Is my method of change effective?  Perhaps.  I think it’s the only way to create deep shifts in culture.  Living my life, adhering to my values, working toward my goals.  That’s the way I make real the world in which I want to live. And then I read that. Suddenly, my way of living looks like walking to work along a street full of burning houses.  I am doing my part by walking rather than driving, by avoiding jobs for dirty companies, by keeping up my side of the social bargain.  However, shouldn’t I help pull people out of the burning buildings? At risk of my own safety? Or perhaps I should be calling everyone who could help.  Pointing out the lack of adherence to building codes and lack of oversight by inspectors.  Helping someone “qualified” don their specialized clothing so they can enter without being hurt. I’ll start with the call.  I’ll start by saying what I think. Immigrants are not our enemies.  The people who hurt us are not in custody in Abu Ghraib; they are running it.  The people who[…]

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