Words from Dic(tionary)
Advance: (v) move forward, typically in a purposeful way: e.g. the troops advanced on the capital. 2. to lend money to someone 3. an approach made to someone typically with the aim of initiating a sexual encounter.
He asked me if I was “a progressive.”
I realized it was a trick question. He obviously did not approve of progressives and had found a box he planned to stuff me into, to satisfy his simplistic way of thinking.
For it seems that somewhere along the line, a desire to advance the cause of mankind and progress us toward better solutions has become unsatisfactory.
In my lifetime, many of the things I was told were irreversible and immutable in their sacred nature have been abandoned in favor of easier practices.
For after all, I grew up thinking that black people were black, homosexuals were homosexual, women were women, north was north, south was south, divorce was evil, technology was mistrusted and that the hula hoop was actually a toy to entertain children.
All of these things have been pushed aside to advance one universal concept: freedom.
Yet the people who want freedom for one thing in this country want to restrict it for something else, and those who are determined to promote their particular agenda will be more than happy to pour gasoline on yours and set it on fire.
What does it mean–to advance? What is the definition of making progress? When do we know that we are moving forward instead of stumbling backwards or doing a two-step side to side?
Am I just an idiot to think this can be answered with one question:
Is it making better humans?
Because it would be impossible to help stray dogs, cats and Bambi, for that matter, if the human beings around them want to hurt them and kill them.
It would be ridiculous to think that we could give equal rights to the mass of the multitude if portions of the crowd have already decided that some people are inferior.
And we certainly will not be able to stop war–which may be the antithesis of advancement–until each one of us realizes that we are probably not going to get everyone to conform to our ideals.
Is it making better humans? That’s my yardstick.
- I’m sorry–I don’t think pornography makes better humans. I’m not going to rail against it, but I also am not going to pretend that it’s “a rite of passage.”
- I don’t think guns make better humans. I’m not suggesting they should be prohibited–just not promoted.
- I don’t think abortion makes better humans. I prefer contraception, education and adoption.
My list goes on and on. I’m sure it would vary from yours–but we might be surprised at how many cross-references we would have.
I would love to see us advance. I have been fully warned NOT to call it being progressive–but at the very least, could we take some time to think about our survival and how we might want to make the lives of our children and grandchildren richer, more spiritual and laced with intelligence instead of dulled by drugs, attitudes and practices … that leave them in a stupor.