Why leave a job to work on Humanity?

(repost from April, 2017)

Major, exciting (to me) change in my life …

A little overdue announcing this, but a major, exciting (to me) change in my life that I want to share.

In October I left my career in tech start-ups to switch to working on helping improve humanity.

A big aim, of course, but fortunately there are a lot of people working on this.

This has been my life dream since 1990. There were twists & turns, but I persisted, WITH HELP FROM A LOT OF YOU and eventually got to a place where I can, hopefully without starving, dedicate myself full-time to it.

I had a teacher in third grade whose husband had recently passed. One day she told the class that thing that all of us hear as children, but have no ability to understand at the time, “Life is really short.”

She was right. And life is also an unfathomable opportunity. Put those two things together and it’s really clear: “Don’t screw around.”

We are, as a race, a force of nature. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. But that difference is totally within our control.

Humanity is itself an unbelievable opportunity. We are, as a race, a force of nature. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. But that difference is totally within our control. And that is really a cool concept when you internalize that it is _you_ who have that control.


With things that go on, it is easy to forget, but we have been maturing as a race — albeit in fits and starts — over 300+ generations of existence. We _have_ steadily made progress. Just in the last 200 years we outlawed slavery in most of the world, earned women the right to vote (and then a majority voted for one as leader of — practically speaking — the world), ended authoritarianism in the developed world, installed multiple protections against majority tyranny over minorities, and an endless list of other improvements in who we are as a race. Most of our work remains ahead of us, but the world today is not the one we lived in 200 years ago.

Who did all this?

We did.

People like you and I. We are the ones that will drag our race its subsequent steps forward.

That’s what I’m going to do.

(And nothing is special about me. You can do it too. 🙂

As part of this I moved to New York. In the US, if you want to work in global humanitarian work, that is the center of it. It’s like coming to Silicon Valley if you want to work in tech start-ups. So here I am.

Everyone’s first question is, “What are you going to work on?”

There is no shortage of problems, agreed? It’s overwhelming. So I need to zero in on where I can make the biggest impact, given what I can “bring to the table.” That’s what 2017 is about; figuring all that out. Progress is being made, I promise.

I hope all of you have dreams. And believe in them. And make them happen.

Really, that’s what life is about, in my opinion.


    Audrey Leak Coates

    Posted at Reply

    Hi Hank,

    Love your Blog, E.PLURIBUS.US.
    We worked as CS Team Leaders at Dulles International Airport for UAL.
    Wish you well in all of your endeavors, particularly in your Humanitarian efforts. I knew that you were destined for “Great Things”.


      Posted at Reply

      Audrey! Thank you for the positive thoughts. Hope you are doing well; I see some of the old crew now&then and definitely miss those days.

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