Social skills for autonomous people: Don’t hang your identity on being counter-cultural.


It’s better when good things become mainstream.

If something is good and right, it’s best when everyone knows this and it’s not substantially controversial.

Opposing things hurts. 

There is a lot that is horribly wrong with the world, and a lot of fights that have to be fought. There are many lives in the balance (and other things). But the point isn’t the fight, and it’s not being outside the mainstream.

The point is the values and the people.

Serve your values, and your people. Fighting is a means. It is necessary. But it is not an end in itself. And you can serve your values and people best by looking for ways to serve them - and when that is fighting, to fight, and when that is building, to build.

When people make the fighting an end in itself, bad things happen.

YES. This is so very very true. There is nothing wrong with finding it satisfying to fight for what is right. But it is important to remember WHY it is so important to fight for what is right, and that is because the world and the very fact of existence have so much potential to be awesome and not full of suffering and injustice.

In other words…hinging one’s identity on The Fight without having a constant background sense of what is being fought for and appreciated and loved – will invariably lead to what I can only describe as a “core of emptiness”. Working for a better world does not go hand in hand with existential despair at the idea of no longer having stuff to fight for. The ultimate goal is to not be fighting someday. Establishing a situation of respect, access, liberty, and security for all is a necessary and worthy activity, but all of us still need real hobbies too.

Yes. It is so important to perceive the fight as something that can and should be won.