No matter your cause you will face some of the same tough situations to various degrees. The word “ally” has evolved some but its essence is ancient.

Sometimes you must not act when you wish you could

Sometimes it seems easiest to get angry on behalf of your ally, solve a problem on behalf of your ally, or otherwise “do” something. But so often the right thing for you to do is nothing.

Sometimes you must act when you wish you didn’t have to

If “nothing” is all you’re willing to do then maybe you aren’t part of the problem but you’re hardly part of the solution. So you have to decide what somethings you are willing to do. Probably the most basic is to be recognized as supporting your cause of choice. In some cases this is itself very dangerous!

Written by

I’m a software engineer at Facebook; I specialize in software performance engineering and programming tools generally. I survived Microsoft from 1988 to 2017.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store