Sunday, January 15, 2012
Does it Work?
There is a wide distance between the habit of taking an uncompromising stance on a particular ideology and compromising a bit in order to make a difference. I have often considered whether sticking rigidly to your principals is always the most ethical way to live. These ideas come up a lot during political debates. Candidates swear their unwavering support of one position on some polarizing issue. I suspect a lot of ordinary folks can be a bit fuzzier in their stance on a lot of issues. Yet there seems to be an idealizing, in this nation, of the strong stance. Uncompromising dedication earns a hero-like admiration from many. I see it pop up in subculture communities, including the feminist community. I've read many articles and blogs looking at problems of subjugated women in various parts of the world and calling for sweeping changes, vocal opposition, legislation, and international intervention. But after more reading and research, I'm learning that real activists sometimes need to take the less politically-correct approach to a problem because empirical evidence has shown it to be more effective. Humility and compassion can guide us to really look at whether the effects of our work match our intentions. Real changes, even small, are what we should be after.