“The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.”
“I have a dream…”
~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Daniel Pink says there are three truths about mastery. I think they apply to progress as well.
1) Progress is a mindset.
You either believe progress is possible or you don’t. Those who believe that things can and do get better are really the only ones “making progress.”
They believe it about themselves. They believe it about society. They believe it about everything. They ignore those who would like to remind them that, as the Human Race, we are awful, awful people. They ignore those who say, “No, we just have new and better ways of killing/oppressing/marginalizing each other.” They do not believe that goodness is a fixed reality, and that all we can do is figure out how to manage the destruction. They believe that people have the capacity to grow and change and mature.
Progressives have Hope.
2) Progress is hard.
“Stony the road,” indeed.
Progress is not an easy task. There are more setbacks than anyone cares to admit. There is more opposition than anyone thinks there will be.
But Progressives don’t get fooled and give up because someone says “No.” They press on because they have Faith that one day they will say “Yes.”
3) Progress is never fully realized.
Progressives take steps with the full knowledge that each step forward is not the final step. Each step is just one more step, and there is always another one after that.
With every victory comes an assessment of “Where do we go from here?” With every person set free comes a survey of “Who needs freedom now?”
Progress is never done, but more progress will have been made when we pass the baton than when it was passed to us.