User voted Most of the times, but I have doubts sometimes.
0 votes
Sep 28, 2015

One must make a distinction between values, policies, perspectives, and tactics to achieve those policies.

When it comes to values, yes. I believe that I am onto something. I am not always right, of course: I am growing as a compassionate, empathetic human being, and sometimes that means broadening one's perspectives and seeing things from the viewpoint of a new stakeholder. But I do believe that I am expressing a set of values that will allow human beings to grow into something greater.

In general, I believe that my belief in optimism, a sense of duty, and the idea that our struggles producing incremental change are valid. I believe in my heart of hearts as Dr. King did: That the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice.

When it comes to policies, I am reasonably confident that I am proposing ideas that are worth considering. We know so little about sociology that no policy can be considered ironclad. Even policies that seem well-tested sometimes can create unexpected snarls. Still, I do my research, I try to look at the policy from multiple perspectives, and I try to make sure to consult experts of a variety of backgrounds to really make sure that there's something to be said. I think we have to be experimental and willing to abandon ideas with no sense of shame or ego when it comes to policies.

When it comes to perspectives, I have near-ironclad confidence. What I do is I try to share ideas and perspectives from the underdog, or from a more enlightened perspective that is more hopeful. That may mean trying to educate fellow white people, fellow men, fellow straight people, etc. on some of what it may feel like to not be those things, or to provide some kind of insight into our experience that might help build empathy and common ground. Here, I'm not worried about a big T Truth as much as a little t truth. When I act in this capacity, I'm not saying that there's no valid disagreements or that anyone's perspective is actually wrong, just that there's another way of looking at it that may be illustrative.

When it comes to tactics, I am quite certain that what I propose works to accomplish certain objectives. Again, I cannot be totally certain, because even when trying to push toward a trajectory of change in your immediate social network you can't be certain. Still, I believe that I have a very good sense of what works for certain people in the long run. I don't tend to buy into the politics of momentary topical outrage. I try to build longer-term intelligence, compassion, empathy, and hope. In my view, our problem is not that people are unaware that circumstances are not as they should be: It's that people are hopeless. My work is about giving them tools to conquer that hopelessness.

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