Elie Wiesel, in a recent lecture, said that he had so much difficulty defining what he was for, that he decided to start with what he was against. His list (from my notes): ignorance, hunger, racism, hatred, comparisons, humiliation, silence, neutrality, and indifference. It’s a hell of a list. I’ll take away comparisons (he defined the word oddly, in my arrogant opinion, and his opposition seemed conditional), and add arrogance, ugliness and extortion for starters.
Of course, he’s right that it’s much easier to be against than to be for; I undoubtedly write more hatchet jobs than puff pieces. Furthermore, anytime it’s difficult to define your terms, it’s a good clue that it’s important to try. I’m for variety, kindness, rigor, compassion, empathy, courage, and forethought, among other things. Also Pringles.