A very insightful great friend told me that: a) I miss my days as a reporter and b) I needed my own blog in addition to Facebook and other social media to express the issues most important to me. He was right on both counts. Welcome to The Altruistic Dissenter, designed to be a collection of vignettes, opinions, human interest stories, photos, videos, and anything else that reflects the world we live in today.

The name Altruistic Dissenter came from a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote: “Let us be those creative dissenters who will call our beloved nation to a higher destiny. To a new plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness.” Ironically, on the same night I was creating this name in my mind, President Obama mentioned the words “altruistic” and “dissent” in his farewell address. That sealed the deal.

Although this site may occasionally feature criticism on social issues, it will primarily be a source of positive news and profiles on people and organizations changing humankind for the better. You are encouraged to read, comment, share and take what you learn here and use it for good in the world. I also hope it inspires you to make your own voice heard, whether through writing, activism, or in simple, everyday conversations with friends and family.

With our nation and world in a new era, it will be on all of us to, in the words of MLK, “…learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” We can all remain silent and throw our hands up in disgust about the direction of our country and world, or we can choose to be an active participant—an “accomplice” for the better good. It’s arduous, painful and non-fruitful work at times, but when I consider the alternative, I become re-energized. I hope you do, too.

Mark Zustovich
January 16, 2017