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The Practical Choice

I read that it has been unproven across history that monumental change occurs from ideals. It happens when interests align. These interests may be in common between groups, between individuals and even within them. Tim Wise reminded me in his book, Under the Affluence, of someone else who reminded him.

"In his book, Endgame, Jensen explains: I'm not, for example going to say I hope I eat something tomorrow. I'll just do it. I don't hope I take another break right now, nor that I finish writing this sentence. I just do them."

I can't eat one salad, nor complete one workout and be done for the rest of my life. Nor, can I read one book, meet one person and expect my own ability to form relationships, much less deconstruct large societal systems, to be perfected.

"Don't equate it to the gym. I go and then for a long time I don't," shared a coworker.

Maybe so, but my colleague still recognized, perhaps unlike before, there were actions she should be taking to follow through.

"On the other hand, I hope that the next time I get on a plane it doesn't crash. To hope for some result means you have no agency concerning it. . . When we realize the degree of agency we actually do have, we no longer have to 'hope' at all. We simple do the work. . . We do whatever it takes." (310)

My dad often reminded me, "They come up to the hall, the township residents and they stand in front of the lawyers and they're emotional. Passionate. It doesn't work. Those guys, businessmen, don't care about stories. About lives. You only win with facts. Regulations. Law."

These words are unromantic and dispassionate, but they are not disconnected. People with privilege who want to make a difference should accept their role to act in small repeated, intentional ways. A practical choice.

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