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But it does no good–solves nothing–to distance myself from the front lines of human need by using the mail as a safe shelter. I believe that serving the best ends of humanity means getting out in the middle of it just as it is, not staying home writing checks and thinking hopeful thoughts. The world does not need tourists who ride by in a bus clucking their tongues. The world as it is needs those who will love it enough to change it, with what they have, where they are. And you’re damned right that’s idealistic. No apology. When idealism goes into the trash as junk mail, we’re finished.

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But it does no good–solves nothing–to distance myself from the front lines of human need by using the mail as a safe shelter. I believe that serving the best ends of humanity means getting out in the middle of it just as it is, not staying home writing checks and thinking hopeful thoughts. The world does not need tourists who ride by in a bus clucking their tongues. The world as it is needs those who will love it enough to change it, with what they have, where they are. And you’re damned right that’s idealistic. No apology. When idealism goes into the trash as junk mail, we’re finished.

Robert Fulghum

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