I’m constantly urging action and optimism. This short clip from Richard Eskow, taken from the longer interview I did with him recently, perfectly captures why.
Eskow says that in the face of a looming disaster — an “event horizon” we may be coming to — we have to make a “Pascal’s Wager with the future” and act as though we can win. Why? Because it gives our lives meaning, and because that’s the only way we will win.
Listen first to Eskow; it’s brief, and he’s much more eloquent that I am. Then my comments afterward:
Action is critical to victory
Isn’t it obvious that if we don’t act, we can’t win? This is my advice for the entire progressive coalition, especially those who are too depressed to move.
First, as I’ve said many times, the antidote for depression is action. So when you’re feeling down and hopeless, get up and do something. It’s amazing how much better you’ll feel. All those Action Opportunities you see from me? It’s because I’m concerned about your health, and want you to be happy.
Second, everyone has reach, a world within which we have an effect. Even the so-called least of us lives in a world we influence. Use your reach; you have no idea when a surprisingly good result will come from it.
Third, action is a choice, not a prediction. And except in rare circumstances, when inaction is more powerful, we must act to win. We could win a battle or lose a battle, win the war or lose it. But we must act as though we can win, or we never will win. In the longer interview, Eskow talks about how the Clintons, the Obamas, the Romneys and the Ryans, all want us to feel powerless, hopeless. That’s part of their plan, it shouldn’t be part of ours.
Finally, I’d like to close with the radio sign-off I’ve been using from time to time. Sports fans will appreciate this — it’s advice that every winning football coach gives every winning team. It’s so obvious it shouldn’t need saying, and it always needs saying:
Block to the whistle. Tackle to the ground. Play till the end of the game.
Play till the end of the game. Act as if you can win. It’s the only way you will win. Make your Pascal’s Wager, resist the taught helplessness of the enemy, and fight till it really is over — and then count your chickens, not before. You may surprise even you.
This is a marker post; there will be lots of links back to it. I’ll have more on this when we discuss a terrific interview with Chris Hedges. Stay tuned, and stay optimistic.
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