Responses to Politics: optimism, pessimism, idealism, cynicism, etc

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  PopeBeanie 6 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #3279

    tom sarbeck
    Participant

    Politics defined: human relations at levels more intense than many of us can handle.
    No dictionary defines politics that way but it does stir emotions and it does drive people away.

    I returned from a war, started college and in a teachers preparation course read that idealism peaks in twelve-year-olds and declines gradually.

    My idealism lasted longer. It crashed and burned when, home from that war, I read of politicians at a peace conference who were arguing over who would sit where at the table.

    Real angry, I grumped “Politicians do that while young men like me kill each other? I decided that politicians send young men to war so they will have more young women for themselves. My idealism had become cynicism.

    I remained cynical until I became an environmental activist and met people who were making politicians pay attention and change. Those people had power. I learned from them and realized that with allies I too could produce change. I stopped saying “You can’t fight city hall” and started saying “I can fight city hall, and when I want to I will look for allies.”

    I saw that idealists want a world better than it is and cynics want a world worse than it is. I started saying “On my travels between idealism and cynicism, I slow down and spend a few minutes in realism.

    If optimism and pessimism are at the ends of a spectrum, where are you on that spectrum and how did you get there? If idealism and cynicism are at the ends of a spectrum and realism at its middle, where are you on that spectrum and how did you get there?

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by  tom sarbeck.
    #3304

    Andrew Brown
    Participant

    I am still an idealist; maybe I am the crazy one.

    I seek the ideal and reach the best possible.

    #3543

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    I still dream too much about what’s possible, and feel incompetent in not being able to make enough happen. Weird thing is, I’m still getting better at the positive attempts. I.e. I can be just as cynical about myself as I am about others, but when I step back for perspective I can still understand that it’s all the result of “human nature”, whatever that is and becoming.

    So I feel in the middle of optimism and cynicism too, but still almost always feel less in touch with reality than I’d like to be.

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