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Evolve By DL Banks

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith. Restlessness is discontent — and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man — and I will show you a failure.

We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. With out them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. The ugliest thing in America is greed, the lust for power and domination, the lunatic ideology of perpetual Growth – with a capital G. ‘Progress’ in our nation has for too long been confused with ‘Growth’; I see the two as different, almost incompatible, since progress means, or should mean, change for the better – toward social justice, a livable and open world, equal opportunity and affirmative action for all forms of life. And I mean all forms, not merely the human.

Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. To reach a port we must set sail. Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.

The offer of certainty, the offer of complete security, the offer of an impermeable faith that can’t give way, is an offer of something not worth having. I want to live my life taking the risk all the time that I don’t know anything like enough yet; that I haven’t understood enough; that I can’t know enough; that I’m always hungrily operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom. I wouldn’t have it any other way. One of the most moral acts is to create a space in which life can move forward. Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is… we cannot expect things to be much better in this world… We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.

We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it. We’ve forgotten much. How to struggle, how to rise to dizzy heights and sink to unparalleled depths. We no longer aspire to anything. Even the finer shades of despair are lost to us. We’ve ceased to be runners. We plod from structure to conveyance to employment and back again. We live within the boundaries that science has determined for us. The measuring stick is short and sweet. The full gamut of life is a brief, shadowy continuum that runs from gray to more gray. The rainbow is bleached. People who want a cure, provided they can have it without pain, are like those who favor progress, provided they can have it without change.

But what is the way forward? I know what it isn’t. It’s not, as we once believed, plenty to eat and a home with all the modern conveniences. It’s not a 2,000-mile-long wall to keep Mexicans out or more accurate weapons to kill them. It’s not a better low-fat meal or a faster computer speed. It’s not a deodorant, a car, a soft drink, a skin cream. The way forward is found on a path through the wilderness of the head and heart, reason and emotion. Thinking, knowing, understanding. I always make sure that the world will prove me right. It gives me the freedom to contradict myself. There can be no progress without head-on confrontation.

Change is the parent of progress.


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