The progressive choice is like the light or dark side in Star Wars (and the Force). You can look at people who have more success, money, looks, and so on, and you can pick either to:
- (a) You can live the life of angry progressives. You see Social Injustice, resent it, and "them" for their color, money, privilege, and give in to the hate and envy. Spend your life conspiring how to take what's someone else's, to make things more "fair". Punish wealth, success, luck, gender, or genetics, all to try to control the world and make up for past wrongs. Since you'll be addicted to imagining and obsessing over the injustices that you can never completely make up for, you're doomed to never succeed, and just die a bitter and unhappy progressive. The problem is your perception, but if you can cure that, you won't be a progressive any more.
- (b) Or you can learn the life of a happy anything else (libertarian, conservative, Christian, agnostic, etc). You look around and see that there's people that make less, have less, had it much rougher than you did (or had more misfortunes hit them), and yet they're more successful (as in happy with what they have) than you are. They're not sweating that your pay-check or house is bigger, they're living life like it matters, and trying to help others up (instead of holding others down). They're not living their lives trying to punish, and control -- but to help and serve. You can choose to be like them, but then your progressive friends will all hate you.
I think society is better the more people b's and few a's there are. So I'd rather doom people to a realistic optimism of (b), than the cynical pessimism of (a). Life sucks and is hard for most people. But the green-eyed monster of envy or trying to force fairness on an unjust world, is dooming people to failure and a bitter existence. While teaching them to cherish what they have, will make life better for them, and most who interact with them. Emotionally happy and healthy people aren't progressives.