The Optimism of Uncertainty, by Howard Zinn
“Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment (beware of such moments!) but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society. We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.
Even when we don’t “win,” there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope.
An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.
If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future.
The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
Howard Zinn, read more here.
If you couldn’t tell, I’ve been thinking about what I can accomplish to make this world just a little bit better, and the best way to do it. I’m still brewing and percolating, so posting this as something I found very true, and looking for more inspiration. Send some my way?
PS edited to add beginning and end of quote accidentally edited out in the first go-round.
5 thoughts on “Small Acts, Big Change”
Ordering 25 Java chicks is a good start,as well as providing a sturdy,cozy chicken house for them to be safe and secure in at night. It’s the beginning of the kind of adventure Zinn could endorse!
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It feels like an adventure; thank you for the encouragement!
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Ghandi
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That’s a good one! I also like “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
I lve your thinking and your writing!