Sense of Struggle (104)

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Some of myriad forces in the world are acting to change it for the better while some are acting to perpetuate injustice and privilege. Many of the forces that are the strongest are the ones that must be challenged. Social change is not easy. Bringing it about will require a long-term commitment. The change that is needed may not occur until long after the deaths of the people who first seek it. A Sense of Struggle can bind together a group dedicated towards positive social change. A sense of struggle emerges from the realization that the problem is very deep and setbacks are inevitable. A Sense of Struggle lies midway between optimism and despair or cynicism. A Sense of Struggle unrelieved by humor and camaraderie can even give way to dogmatism, paranoia or messianic thinking. Being flexible and open to new approaches and to new people who share your concerns is the best way to avoid these problems. We need to cultivate a Sense of Struggle and, at the same time, make it easier for those who do struggle. According to Frederick Douglass, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress." Text: Douglas Schuler; Image: Earl Dotter