The time-honored role of the Thinker, is to Speak Truth to Power.
We could create a group of favorite, thinking saints. They are all around us. Many of us take them too much for granted and even bask in reflected glory because of the work that they do. Some are spiritually enlightened -- while quite a few more are not. But it doesn't matter. They do Good work, the work of Good. Or at least, after the Thinking is over or when history gives Good works credibility -- we all can claim it as Good and Decent. These people are the ones who work as loyal friends. They are intelligent, resourceful, patient, and wise. They may be found in modest places doing routine work. They dig into facts. They try to understand. They study and research, they walk the halls of Power. They go out and live with the people, they go anywhere in the world, modestly. They bind wounds, they feed the hungry, they teach, they excavate foundations, and they build shelter. And when it is necessary (and if they are qualified) they put down their tools, and look authority in the eye and Speak Truth to Power.
One does not need to describe their work, for we all know it. We can celebrate the balance in these saints. They are spoken of as naive, idealistic, do-gooders, and innocent doves. But we can believe they also have the wisdom of the serpent. They are spoken of with a touch of scorn as being "establishment" types -- too concerned with hierarchy and system, but we can believe that the work they do and the testimony they give, wears the ring of Truth. They live with and witness to the Good values in a down-to-earth, practical way.
They are also objected to as being too radical, too revolutionary, too pushy. They are -- for some. But not for we.
Love the way that they receive unfavorable judgment from both sides yet continue to Speak Truth to Power.
Such Good friends do die -- and once so, each ending will be an insignificant event -- barely a whimper in the scope of all things, begun and ended. But if this human experiment continues -- if this particular experience of Grace, Good, and Godliness evolves into something with increasing potential for life; if we don't destroy ourselves and our splendid planet -- it will be because more and more people will gradually believe, and behave, like the very best of mankind. They will gradually understand and commit themselves to live to, and by Higher values.
Calling ourselves by a label-name is not important.
What matters is how we live. And some of those "Good friends" are showing the way.