I’ve often wondered about the price some people seem to pay for caring too much, for being “too committed” to certain causes. Is their life just full of Pyrrhic victories?**
Pick any cause – gun control, abortion, global warming, immigration, racial injustice, prison reform, etc., and there are likely to be people who have dedicated themselves to that cause. On the surface, it’s nice to see people taking action on something they believe in so strongly.
But what’s going on around them when they get so consumed by such causes? Are they spending less time with friends and family? Have they alienated many of these same people? Do they end up suffering from confirmation bias? Is this the only issue that they care about, and are unaware of what else is going on in the world? Do they get pegged as weirdos, and people start to avoid them? Do they get so consumed by the issue that their health starts to decline?
And if and when they achieve “victory”, at what cost has it come?
If all of the above represent the possible consequences of going all in on something, perhaps it’s no surprise then that so few people do so. It’s a lot easier to be part of the pack, to not stick your neck out or put your reputation on the line.
I’m not saying that such outcomes are inevitable when someone dedicates himself to a specific cause, but I do think the odds are high of experiencing some of the consequences of such a commitment.
As the famous Apple commercial says,
“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
**A Pyrrhic victory is a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat. Just learned the phrase this week; couldn’t wait to use it!