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For me, living a certain kind of life is preferable to a cause. To live the values we claim to espouse is almost impossible and therefore exceedingly rare. Neither here nor there, neither good nor bad, this is just the way it is. After all, look around our individual little worlds, look beyond through the news. Plenty of wrongs needing to be righted, both in our immediate and distant worlds. If we were all good all the time, why so many wrongs? Our self-images and the world we’ve created don’t mesh well, do they? In fact, often it seems they don’t mesh at all.

The internet just makes it easier to proclaim one’s values without needing to live them. Cause of the day? Go online and donate a few bucks. Instantly feel virtuous. Repeat as per the inkling. Yet, do we become more virtuous as a result of feeling virtuous? History teaches that feeling and being virtuous almost never overlap.

Coming back to causes, it’s enough of a cause for me to live each day grateful for what I have, especially health, and what I’ve achieved, and to adhere to the values I hold dear, no matter what. Simple to espouse, difficult to live. The values? Sincere actions. Give more than I take. No matter what. Whether others recognize, reciprocate or not. Why? Because being and doing right are done for their own sake, and nothing else. Took me many years to get to this point, to surmount the ego, and its need for validation and recognition, and just proceed, day after day. I’m not a heroic person, a rabble rouser or a trail blazer. I trudge. Make a determination about something and pursue it single-mindedly. What point knowledge without understanding?

Used animals in research. Regret it so won’t do it again. Cost-benefit doesn’t compute. Costs animals, benefits mainly scientists’ careers. Circumscribes my career and ambitions as a biomedical scientist? Sure. Regrets? No.

Wherever I am, if I see an underdog needs help, I’m there. This means to demand accountability from the powers-that-be, and protect and defend the underdog, and support others who do likewise. I know, I know. This is counter to what one’s supposed to do. All the more important to do it. Why? Because only by doing so can we create a fairer world with better opportunities for more. In our homes, in our workplaces, when we are out and about. In our little worlds.

That’s about it.