edit: The first commenter made a very salient point, that my train of thought is quite incomplete at the end. There were a few paragraphs missing – hopefully I’ve managed to remedy this.
I have not often strayed into discussing the directly political, but I am gradually understanding that if I want to pretend to be an agent of change, I have to face facts. The slow, creeping resignation that changing society means more than just changing minds has forced me to stop and take stock of what I really believe when it comes to the role of government and the purpose of law. Politics isn’t easy conversation, but I’ve found that practice truly does make genuine discussion more viable over time. Primal emotions are accessed very rapidly as core values are placed at odds, and my knee-jerk response to toss away respect for others has to be tamed in light of the very constant reality that I really won’t find many people in the world that agree with me about everything. It’s the joy and curse of individuality.
It’s strange to rediscover what it feels like to have a moral zeal for something like, say, global warming – an issue I once believed wasn’t happening at all – and to now find myself gravely concerned for the future of the human race because of it. I’d changed my mind about it a few years back, but I didn’t quite get the “big deal” factor until more recently. It started by watching nature documentaries (if you want to feel emotional about global warming, watch a polar bear try to hunt walrus because it can’t find land), but relentlessly consuming TED talks and working with brand new ecology manuscripts every day has exposed me to a lot of really potent research. Statistics are cheap, but having a glimpse into the excruciating amount of detail and thought driving the process gives meaning to otherwise anonymous numbers.