Balancing Family and Advocacy

13 04 2009

I’ve had difficulty finding time for the blog this past month. Not because of any lack of enthusiasm or lack of material to write about, but because I’m building my family a home on my own. The amount of time and energy that go into that, plus the time and energy that go into being a father and earning an income for my family, leaves me with very little time or energy for writing and activism.

So I put this out there to all you parent/activists: do you have any insights or suggestions for balancing family and advocacy?

It has been my experience so far on this path that most of the successful activists I meet are single or, at least, childless. But that cannot be the answer for a more ethical, sustainable world. We who love this Earth must have another generation of committed, compassionate, and enthusiastic people to pass the torch along to.

I know there are other parents out there who are making this work. I also know there are others who – like me – are finding themselves spread too thin. That’s why I’m opening up the floor for ideas.

I will continue to write and promote articles about animals and the environment on this blog as I find time to do so. There are mountains of stories to be shared, oceans of ideas. I have six writing projects (and counting) on the side-burner until after I’m done building our house (a process that will produce a book of its own).

So, please, parents out there, share your wisdom with me and others. How do we do this? How do we save the world for our children while we’re busy raising them?






5 responses

4 05 2009
How I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days

Hi, interesting post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely be coming back to your posts.

6 04 2010
Cecilia Gummeson

Hi Ethan,

Searching Amazon for a book by Zoe Weil, Director of the International Institute of Humane Education, I came upon your book, “Building an Ark.” I think I will buy this book too.

I am a high school teacher in Sweden, but lived most of my life in WA state. I teach biology, and am working toward teaching humane, kind and ethical treatment toward animals in the near future. In the meantime, I am trying to find out how, where, when…?

To your question. My kids are young adults but being a mother, I have many of the same experiences that you have being a dad. My advice to you is to not stress. Your kids will grow fast! Take your time with them while they are young and instill in them your values while they still listen to you and adore you. 🙂 When they are older, they can assist you…even better, you assist them in humane projects.
Kids may or may not adopt our philosophies and values, because they may or may not rebel to find themselves. However, I believe, that they will remember what you think in important and pass that on one way or another.
So, while your kids are young, be the activist who instills good values in them first. Second, keep up the good work and I will try to do the same.
Good luck!

6 04 2010

Thank you Cecilia. I appreciate your kind words.

All the best to you,

1 08 2010

Ethan, I think Cecilia’s advice is spot on. Don’t sweat it. Just do what you can when Little One is in bed and it’s too dark to work on the house. Peter and I are working our buns off to help safeguard the future precisely because we don’t have young kids at home (second and final son just married off!) … we’re doing it for people like you who are parents — and for your children, and all the children, of all species.

On the other hand … if you’re a parent, then you’ve got every reason in the world to be an activist, on your child/ren’s behalf. Truly loving your little one(s) means truly considering what the world will be like for them when they’re older, and I know that you know that this means activism!! How about being a One Hour Per Week Activist? Doing it without obsessing about it?

Anyway, you and your family rock, and you’re all good and kind to the Earth and its creatures, so maybe just take a deep breath and just do what you can do.

Lots of love,

3 08 2010

Thanks for you kind words, Julie. You and Peter are doing wonderful work.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: