Publisher’s Note: The Very Best of Us

Helping make the world a better place

By Jonathan Sposato

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November 14, 2022

This article originally appeared in the September/October 2022 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Don’t Give Up.

With the Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade, the curbing of Environmental Protection Agency oversight of climate change and an extension of gun rights, things in our country have been looking a little discouraging lately. Rest assured, though, that there are heroes among us.

Some historians believe that the default state of our reasonably young republic involves periods of factionalism, extremism and larger political divides, and that bipartisanship and unity mark the exceptional periods. As Voltaire simply stated, “Life is struggle.”

But I also believe conflict and reversals are not the opposite of progress; they are in fact a necessary part of it. And it is during times of crucible that heroes emerge. These heroes protest. They doggedly stay on an issue longer than others. They recognize that interim success is not final, nor failure necessarily the end.

In other words, they don’t give up. This issue features a veritable constellation of these heroes who have been in the fight for reproductive rights, choice and equity. These heroes live amongst us in the Pacific Northwest, again showing that what happens here matters to the rest of the world.

And fancy titles or law degrees are not prerequisites for heroes who don’t give up. Often, they are regular folks just like you and me who find the clever hacks. As we struggle with what seems to be an unending situation with individuals experiencing homelessness (the data showing that the majority of whom are the simple result of economic hardship and far less due to drug abuse, mental illness or lack of character), it is easy to get cynical.

It’s easy to say, “It’s just too complicated”; “it’s too big a problem”; or worse, “let somebody else deal with it.” In other words, it’s too easy to simply turn away. But as one lifelong dedicated advocate of the unhoused once taught me, “Every little small thing helps.”

The often heartbreaking but also occasionally heartswelling moments I’ve witnessed on Seattle’s streets during the “search and rescue” missions sponsored by Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission have taught me that simply showing compassion can actually save a life. And so we turn this month’s “Real Society” spotlight on the tireless volunteers and staff at UGM who joyfully and lovingly show compassion to those most turned away by the rest of us. These angels raise and offer their hand. They are the very best of us.

“Don’t quit. Never give up trying to build the world you can see, even if others can’t see it. Listen to your drum and your drum only. It’s the one that makes the sweetest sound.” Simon Sinek

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