The blog is littered with well-intentioned series beginnings, only to see them never truly materialize because I’m on to something else. I am a researcher. I am an INTP - a mad scientist and it usually shows. That’s a long-winded way of saying, “I’ve not blogged in a long time because I’m self-conscious, suffer from a massive inferiority complex, and I’ve honestly been busy with quite a few other things.”
So what am I passionate about? Justice. I believe that people have intrinsic value, regardless of race, nationality, personality, net worth, country of origin, or any other dimension by which we slice humanity. Specifically, I am passionate about justice for those people who exist in the margins of society: The widow. The orphan. The impoverished. The immigrant. All of humanity deserves dignity and respect.
I also believe that nature deserves our care and attention and that violations against nature will inevitably come back to harm humanity, with particular impacts on those marginalized people groups listed above. They’re uniquely forced into making short-term survival decisions, at the expense of long-term sustainability and many times that’s due to environmental violoations they’ve not committed.
I’ll admit that I’m not perfect - especially in treating people with dignity and respect. The person who cut me off in traffic. The person who was an outsourcing backfill for a laid-off friend of mine. The NFL referee who clearly hates my team. I could be so much better in this regard, and yet it is a deeply ingrained passion for me.
Not only is this a personal passion, but it is one that has become a family passion. For her most recent birthday, my daughter’s party was to assemble survival bags for dozens our city’s substantial homeless population. My son has organized fundraisers for African charities. My wife works with women and girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking, helping them to take the first steps toward healing from emotional and physical trauma. I am so thankful for having a spouse and family who are so bent on effusing charity and justice. That’s where my passion arrives: justice. I want to see biased and/or oppressive systems changed. In fact, over the last twelve months I’d suffered something of an existential crisis which nearly led me out of the database and technology communities. I’m still here, though. I also hate talking about myself, so I’m not really planning on sharing more about what I have done. Suffice it to say, I’m still figuring it out and chasing that passion.
This isn’t just about me, though. This can also be about you, if you want it to be.
Consider sharing what you have with others near you, leveraging social media outlets like Nextdoor to facilitate local human connection. Your friendship may be the starting point for someone who desperately craves human interaction.
- Have extra food that you’re not sure you’ll use? Check out OLIO
- Make good purchasing decisions with the Better World Shopper app (or website)
It’s like sharing, but it doesn’t necessarily involve your things or your money. Tutor or mentor students who need someone to believe in them. You have skills. You have intelligence. They have skills. They have dreams. They have intelligence. Bring those together and invest in something bigger than making sure you’ve shaved 25 milliseconds off of that secondary data file read. We have “alternative high schools” in metro Denver that give kids who have been labeled “at-risk” a final shot at getting a high school diploma. Maybe you do too.
- Serve at a soup kitchen.
- Mentor a kid.
- Coach a sports team with kids from the margins.
- Find someone who is working against racial, humanitarian, socio-economic, immigration, or environmental related injustices and set up a standing meeting with them - and buy them coffee/lunch/dinner.
Read and be inspired. Read and be motivated.:
- Amazon: Hand To Mouth: Living In Bootstrap America
- Amazon: Half The Sky
- New York Times: The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem
I’m just spitballing here. Only you know what you can do.