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Sample Chapters

Introduction

“I wrote this book because I believe progressive activists are the world’s most precious resource. We tackle the most difficult and important problems—including hunger, war, disease, poverty, violence, cruelty and exploitation—and we work to further humanity’s evolution in the direction of compassion and kindness. Imagine how different the world would be if there were twice—or ten times!—as many progressive activists as there are now, and if those activists were happy and effective and enjoying long full-time or part-time careers . Entire societies and cultures, and quite possibly every society and culture, would be transformed…” Read more

About Procrastination

“Treating procrastination as a symptom of laziness or a lack of discipline doesn’t work because those are not the causes of procrastination. Rather, they are symptoms, just like procrastination itself is a symptom, of a deeper problem. That problem is usually either…” Read more

About Heroic Activism

“Many activists seek to model their careers after those of famous activists such as Gloria Steinem, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, or the nineteenth and twentieth century abolitionists, suffragists and labor unionists. The only problem is that, often, we don’t really know what those careers really entailed, and are modeling ourselves after a vague romantic ideal. If you really want to model yourself after your heroes then at least take that goal seriously…” Read more

About Your Family

“Many activists are brought to the edge of despair and beyond trying to convince their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other relatives to embrace their values. But guess what? Nothing I’ve ever read says that your family are automatically qualified customers just because they happen to be your family. In fact, the opposite appears to be true: that your ideas are held in lower regard by the people who watched you grow up, and who in some cases diapered you, than by the general population…” Read more

The Right’s Big Lie

“There is one barrier that perhaps more than any other stands in the way of many progressives living a happy, self-actualized life: the view that being a progressive automatically dooms you to a life of unhappiness, or sets you tragically apart from the mainstream of humanity. This view is promoted by people on both the Right and the Left, for different reasons…” Read more

Who Are You?

“So, imagine that you are an “ordinary” activist. You’ve worked for years or decades on an important cause, enduring poverty, isolation, disapproval from family and community, and the depression and (sometimes) trauma that comes from being a constant witness to society’s evils. In other words, you’ve made the usual sacrifices that activists make and endured the usual things they endure. But you haven’t achieved a vast amount of liberation, or even a little liberation. Maybe you’ve just held the line against one small evil. Or maybe, despite your best efforts, the line moved backwards. Were your years or decades of sacrifice worth it?…” Read more



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