Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis
In 2023, some would hesitate to wear their activism on a public-facing website. The historic polarization of political discourse has been offset by a retreat in the business community from social engagement, and shying away from speakers, employees, and organizations that speak to social change. This is a mistake.
History is clear: During periods of polarization, such as late Weimar Germany (a period I studied extensively in grad school,) it's both commonplace and lethal for people and businesses to attempt to route around the conflict, ignoring what is correct action for the sake of convenience.
One always thinks that one is far away from the mindset of ‘just following orders’, so trenchantly probed by Hannah Arendt after the Nuremburg trials. But the reality is, most of us are sorely tempted to follow orders, and with a mimimal bit of prompting, can be coaxed into othering those that do not. It takes years of self-development to overcome this innate human tendency, and this training is the root of what I'll call ethics.
My integrity is founded on the archetype of what I'll call the Honest Witness—if you can see how something should be better, and you are in arm's reach of the thing in question, then you have a binding obligation to make it better. This is what I take an ‘actual grown-up’ to be: someone who takes responsibility for witnessing, naming, and unmaking the wrongness of this world.