Yesterday Wolfe’s Mom asked him:

road sign, attention, right of way
geralt (CC0), Pixabay

When there are so many problems in the world, how do you choose the ones that you’re active in?

Good question.

There are many things I consider before I get involved, or to what degree I get involved in a matter.

First, I guess is what amount of effort can I afford to give? Sometimes, when people get involved in helping a cause they cause more damage by quiting before they finish what they set out to do. you have to know your limits, it’s a risky thing to take up a cause, and commit yourself in any degree. Even writing a letter, if that is all you intend to do, can have a cause and effect on your personal life, and those around you. I know, I have over 154
summary convictions against me for everything ranging from tresspassing to keeping the peace orders. All of them are a result of protests of some kind.

Second, who else is involved in the cause? I will never help out Ronald McDonald house. To me it is one of the highest forms of being a hypocrite, to help people come back to health by accepting help from a corporation which is causing health problems. Guilty by association is very real, and defeats any progress.

Third, can those directly effected by the problem speak for themselves and are they doing so? It is one thing to stand up for human rights and those that lack them in some country. It is another, to interfer with the natural process of change, and the growth of democracy in a place that is not ready, or doesn’t want it. If a group of people are not supporting you changing their lives “for the better” then it is likely that you do not understand the
culture or contents of what is really going on. Anything you do is forced, and un-welcomed. This is most likely the case in situations where one group of people try to “export democracy” to somewhere like iraq. Democracy has to grow from within or it’s inception is corrupted.

Some people get involved because they have no choice. Father-Rights groups are full of fathers who have lost their rights as fathers for example. Other groups are formed as a result of compassion for those who cannot speak for themselves, every animal rights group is a result of this process.

I tend to lean toward groups that are based on an ideal of some kind. It isn’t about saving the whale for me, but saving the ocean and planet as a whole. If I join a save the whale based organization, we might in fact save the whale, but save the entire planet, and the whale is saved as well.