I believe each of us can change the world.

Every­one can make this world a lit­tle bet­ter, or a lit­tle worse — often with­out thinking.

I believe in the power of mak­ing things that improve the world, bit by bit.

Bit by lit­eral bit, in some cases.

I believe in ethics, in human­ity, in inclusivity.

Since design is delib­er­ate and con­sid­ered, both delib­er­a­tion and con­sid­er­a­tion should be part of every design.

Design is political.

I believe in the power of giv­ing a shit, but not so much that it under­mines your work. That bal­ance is pow­er­ful, but tough to attain.

I believe in the power of small teams. I believe that col­lab­o­ra­tion pro­duces bet­ter work than indi­vid­u­als, even “rock stars.” I believe there’s a peak to this ben­e­fit: teams that are too big kill pro­duc­tiv­ity. If you’re spend­ing more time orga­niz­ing than exe­cut­ing, your team is too large. (See also: run­ningmak­er­space.)

That said, design requires vari­ance of inputs and cre­ators. Not only should you seek out the indi­vid­u­als that will use what­ever you’re design­ing, the cre­at­ing team should include a mul­ti­plic­ity of back­grounds and expe­ri­ences and, yes, points of view.

I believe that fix­ing prob­lems begins with rec­og­niz­ing them. Point­ing out prob­lems is the first step: respect those that do so rather than greet­ing them with denial, or worse, indif­fer­ence. That mul­ti­plic­ity of voices will help you rec­og­nize prob­lems, and also solu­tions, that oth­ers might miss — but only if those voices feel they’ll be lis­tened to.

I believe the course of his­tory leans toward progress, but it’s easy to knock us back a few decades. This has rarely been truer than right now.

You’ve got your whole life to do some­thing, and that’s not very long.”

— Ani DiFranco, “Will­ing to Fight”

I believe that the right to express your opin­ion stops when it threat­ens anyone’s life, anyone’s right to exist.

I am not a paci­fist, but I believe in the power of non­vi­o­lent protest.

When I get mad and I get pissed / I grab my pen and I write out a list / Of all the peo­ple who won’t be missed / You’ve made my shitlist”

L7, “Shitlist”

I believe every­one con­tains their best self, though only some of us are work­ing on it. I sur­round myself with peo­ple that expect the best of me. I also do my best to expect the best of those around me.

I believe diver­sity makes us stronger. I believe in unity, but not in forced compromises.

While we’re at it — facts can­not be “alter­na­tive;” sci­ence and cli­mate change are real; a woman’s place is wher­ever she damn well pleases; gen­der is a con­struct; black lives mat­ter; trans rights are human rights; and love is love.

I believe if we each only fight for our own con­cerns, as a soci­ety we will not progress nearly as far or fast as we could otherwise.

Your voice is a weapon / And we’ll do with it what we can… Nothing’s quite as it seems / Society’s altered you see… Throw all your hells towards the heav­ens / Cause your voice is a weapon”

— Bastille vs Angel Haze, “Weapon”

I believe that nation­al­ism is inex­tri­ca­bly tied up with fas­cism. On the other hand, we need to fight the urge to con­flate nation­al­ism and patri­o­tism, even though some­one at a podium may present both in the same breath.

Geno­cide is not a polit­i­cal position.*

I believe that empa­thy is both shield and sword. Both are capa­ble of pro­tect­ing. Both are just as capa­ble of wounding.

Don’t for­get: your own sword can cut you.

Cause I know the biggest crime / Is just to throw up your hands / Say / This has noth­ing to do with me / I just want to live as com­fort­ably as I can / You got to look out­side your eyes / You got to think out­side your brain / You got to walk out­side your life / To where the neigh­bor­hood changes”

— Ani DiFranco, “Will­ing to Fight”

Here’s the thing:

Give more than you take. Be kind. Take care of each other.

*though peo­ple in polit­i­cal posi­tions may enable or enact it.