Up with Idealism!

 Posted by at 04:47  Uncategorized
Sep 212013
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“I’m an idealist: I don’t know where I’m going but I’m on my way.” Carl Sandberg

Many times in my life I’ve been struck with the thought that I’m a remarkable human being who is going to make a mark someday. Equally often I have been slapped in the face by the reality that remarkable human being or not, if I don’t get off my ass and work hard, I’m not worth shit. That notion helps me get out of bed each morning prepared to work toward my goals. Whatever happened I remain optimistic about life- my life at least – and firm in my belief that that moving ahead will bring me closer to the ideal life, whatever that might be.

idealismIt is great to be a positive person, someone who looks for and expects good things to happen no matter how extensive the contrary evidence might seem. I try to be an positive person, optimistic about the future and encouraging to my fellow man. I believe that being positive gives a boost for a satisfying life. I believe that good things come to those who are looking for them whether by cause or effect. I think being positive attracts other positives- both people and circumstances. A positive attitude won’t keep bad things from happening but I believe that positive people handle bad events better by facing them full on, dealing with them and moving on without whining or complaining. I’m not always positive but I try to look for the best at all times and keep on moving forward past the bad.

Being positive is a great foundation for a satisfying life but it is only a start. Now it’s time to step up your game. Got to the next level. Become an idealist.

Positive is Personal!

The way I see it, positive is personal I am the reference point for positive. I consider something to be positive if it leaves me in a better position than before. It’s all about me. Other people;s positive attitudes may help me feel better but if it doesn’t make me feel better then it isn’t positive. It also means that my positive might be negative for someone else. Sometimes that might be fine but the point is it’s not part of the equation. So long as the somebody else deserves the bad it’s all good but when the somebody else is a normal person coping with life just as you are, it means that your positive is his negative. That’s not ideal.

Becoming an idealist means embracing frustration because ideal is a fantasy. Ideal is where everyone is better off, where positive things benefit everyone and bad things only happen to bad people. We all know that the world doesn’t operate that way. Still I like idealism even better than optimism and I chart my way forward each day as an idealist holding myself to higher standards that the normal optimist. It’s a much harder path because I don’t know where I’m going and it’s harder to stay on course. Sometimes it means accepting less perfect conditions for yourself as a step on the path to the ideal.

That’s how I see idealism and why I’m trying to up my game from optimism to idealism. I only have one life to live and the lesson I am learning daily is that I’m not in it alone. Much as I’d like to believe that I control my life, the evidence shows that it’s a team event and whatever I can do to make life better for everyone else helps me live better as well. It’s easy to say but hard to do. It’s easy enough to determine what is good for me. It is harder deciding that what’s good for me doesn’t hurt someone else and darn difficult to decide to make life better for other people who have no direct impact on my life. Using my resources to make life better for somebody else without providing any tangible benefit to me seems wrong. It isn’t easy being an idealist! Still I;m committed to try.

It’s hard to stay positive about idealism but being positive without idealism is narcissistic foolishness.


Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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  One Response to “Up with Idealism!”

  1. There are people who keep on doing something based on what they wanted to believe in.

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