We have these conversations about what everyone else should do and how things would look different if we were in charge. A lot of us leave it at that, but some of us get out and try to work for change.
We work for mission-based organizations. We donate money. We volunteer on political campaigns. And yet, very little changes.
This is because the only strategies we know are harm-mitigation strategies. We don’t have any clue how to actually change society. All we know how to do is throw band-aids over some of the deeper cuts.
In 2012, we argued over the importance of food stamps, and most of us agree they are essential to a humane society, but they only address symptoms. We renewed our cries for gun control in the wake of Sandy Hook–and, oh, how we need it–but that won’t make us a less violent people. At the eleventh hour, the Senate passed a fiscal cliff deal geared toward the middle-class, but it won’t reverse increasing class stratification.
Working to mitigate harm is necessary to make society livable. But it’s only half the strategy: we have to address root causes. So this year, let’s get proactive. Let’s stop reacting to the bad things and start talking about how we can create some good.
What do you think are the root causes we need to address?