and to be for things


Senior Member
Hello everyone,

From the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

Mr. Friedman quotes Walter Mondale.

My family and parents always expected us to be involved in the community and to be for things. Dad was an old Farmer-Labor guy. And Hubert’s dad was a big social activist and his mom was, too. Don Fraser—the same thing.

What does "to be for things" mean?

Thank you.
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    In spoken English, the word "for" would be emphasized. Then this would make sense: "and to be for things".

    Here "for" means "in favor of" but the meaning is stronger, close to "supporting". "For" could also be "pro".

    "Our parents expected us to be politically active, to be supporters of political causes."


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think he's contrasting it with the idea of being against things but having no better ideas of your own.

    To rephrase it, they wanted their children to be in favor of (and work towards) specific good ideas, instead of just criticizing what they considered other people's bad ideas.
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