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More energy in being "for"

About four years ago I attended a lecture given by a prominent lawyer who represented two Guantanamo detainees. As this took place during the depressing Bush-Cheney years, the theme of the lecture was steeped in the setback to the U.S. Constitution, which included, among other disturbing trends, Presidential signing orders to Congressional decrees, a policy of torture, the War Against Nouns (Terror, this time around), unwarranted wiretaps, and several other forms of spying of the citizenry.

After the lecture I met an older gentleman who said he has been an activist for three decades. I asked him how come he wasn't burned out.

"You don't burn out working for what you love," he told me. "Burn out happens when you fight against what you hate."

Lacking his experience, I could only take his word for it at the time, and reflect back on it throughout my writing career since. What I have found to be the case is that this gentleman was right.

Being a man subject to the whimsical circadian rhythm of the muse, I can't say there are periods when my imagination seems to have lost viscosity. I worry that my new situation, the absence of interesting people, and the hot sun will sap my creative fluids, or at least water them down. But my love othe the Liberal Ideal has kept my head above water, and my back straight.

I suggest to my fellow liberal-minded colleagues that you, too, speak out on behalf of that which you love. You will speak with a clear, distinct voice. You will feel revived and tonified after an 800 word article, rather than drained. Your sex life will improve, you will outlast the other guy who's made his life's mission "anti this" and "anti that," and his political affiliation the "Party of No."

Go ahead and try it. Write for the love of your ideals and the prospect of a better world. Hope to see you again in about five years. Maybe 10, maybe 20.


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