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View Diary: Taking Issue With Idealism (68 comments)

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  •  I've come back to Idealism (3+ / 0-)

    because what's the point of aiming low? In my life I've worked in a lot of situations with a lot of people, taught creative writing to a lot of at-risk youth in NYC, Denver, and Chicago. It's a beautiful thing to see a kid who thinks they can be nothing suddenly realize they can be a poet, and watch them write and perform and see their eyes shine. Do I reach all the kids? Nope. But I do reach some. I'm only one person. I can only do what I can do in my corner of the world. But I still dream big for my planet and my species.

    Why? Because we can't accomplish what we can't envision. The visionaries -- idealists -- of the world open new vistas of possibilities for our species. So what if we don't accomplish the vision? At least we've aimed higher. A world without grand visions for what might be would be a horrible place. And I'm so fucking bored with hipster cynicism. Used to be one myself as I banged my drums in punk rock bands.

    I do get what you're saying about being interested in process. But we must be aware of where the process is supposed to take us, as well as being aware of where the process is working and where it isn't. Sometimes bureaucracies get so dug down in proscribed process they lose sight of what those processes are supposed to accomplish.

    And I don't see why one needs to deprecate "women of learning" (such a broad brush stroke!), opposing them to "country priests". I've worked with many of these women, who are tough cookies and come from the same neighborhoods they are working in. It's insulting to pit "women of learning" against "country priests". I'm from Arkansas, and many of the "country priests" I knew just want to make kids follow Jesus, while the women social workers tried to get them services and education.

    In the words of the old South Pacific song: You got to have a dream, if you don't have a dream, how you going to make a dream come true?

    I'm not naive, I know all the speedbumps and hurdles, but I still believe in aiming for the stars. Otherwise, we settle too easily. Being an idealist actually involves more work and devotion than being a pragmatist.

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