Spasms of Passion

"The victims of injustice in our world do not need our spasms of passion; they need our long obedience in the same direction." - Gary Haugen

Gary Haugen’s quote causes great pause and reflection for me. I’ve worked under several large humanitarian grants desiring to address the issues of injustice, and yet each one was structured to fund spasms of passion, versus creating systems which would allow for a long-term focused approach. Unfortunately, philanthropic efforts are just as susceptible to passionate solve-all simplistic approaches to solving some of the dire issues of injustice, from poverty to human rights, to issues of national security. What if, as a community of practitioners, we stopped having knee-jerk responses and instead sought to listen, learn, and co-labor with indigenous organizations? What if, as a community of practitioners, we set metrics which allow for learning and failure? What if, as members of the human race, we moved away from falling into an emotive spiral and took courage to acknowledge pain and suffering and knowing that with listening, learning and co-laboring we can be obedient to addressing the issues of injustice for the long-term.