A Progressive Life

I consider myself a progressive person.  I am concerned about issues of social justice, environmental justice, environmental protection, and equality for all.  I’m not sure what my goals are here, mostly this is to remind me to consider some of these issues when I think about other goals in my life.

I think the big thing for me here is to give a little bit more of my time to some of these causes.  I don’t have a lot of extra cash lying around to financially support things, but I can make an effort in other ways to support causes I believe in.  The other thing I really want to do is be cognizant of the idea of white privilege, and specifically white male privilege.  I’m not out to change the world, I just don’t’ want to make it shittier for other people.

What that means in terms of goals for a better life less concrete than other life areas.  This will likely be an area of my life and life goals that evolves over time and introspective analysis.


Be aware of my privilege:  as a middle class white American male, by the sheer happenstance of my birth, been imbued with societal advantages.  The key of this goal is not to try to disparage myself, but to understand the struggles of other people.  I have arrived where I am through much of my own hard work, but if it weren’t for my support network, my path would have been very different.  I had the privilege to go to college without concerning myself too much with paying for it (except for student loans, but that is a story for financial goals).  When I fell short of funds, I could rely on my parents to prop me up.

Support progressive goals with votes:  I might give some money to a candidate, but in reality, it is my vote that has the power.  The goal is to support things I believe in with candidates with similar ideas.  The anti-scientific, anti-woman, pro-war, anti-equality (in terms of racial and economic issues) stances of the current Republican party are the antithesis to my entire way of thinking.  I’m not feeling the Bern just yet, as his ideas are great but to pie in the sky to be put into action in our current political climate.  It ultimately doesn’t matter since the choices on the other side are so genuinely terrible I will vote for whomever the Democratic nominee is.

Say something, when you can:  When people say terrible things, say something.  The big goal here is not necessarily to change someone else’s thinking or to shame them, but rather to let them know that I do not think the same way as they do about an issue.  This is not always socially feasible, but an effort must be made.  The ultimate goal is not let my silence be misconstrued as tacit acceptance of a shitty point of view.

Teach Kate these values by example:  It is no good to just talk about issues.  We must set the example with our actions.  I’m not sure what these actions will be yet, but we have some time since Kate is only 18 months old.  (more to come in my goals of being a father).

Support progressive causes where I can:  I realize I’m never going to be the vanguard of progressive change.  It isn’t my area of expertise.  But that doesn’t mean I should ignore it.

This is really just the start of the ideas that I have about a progressive life, but I wanted to get them written while they were bouncing around in my head.  Hopefully this will be an evolving set of goals that will get stronger and more definitive over time.