• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Saturday, June 16, 2012


i·de·al·ist [ahy-dee-uh-list]
1. a person who cherishes or pursues high or noble principles, purposes, goals, etc. Synonyms: optimist, perfectionist, reformer, visionary, utopianist. Antonyms: pragmatist, skeptic, cynic.

2. a visionary or impractical person. Synonyms: romantic, romanticist, dreamer, stargazer. Antonyms: realist, materialist.

3. a person who represents things as they might or should be rather than as they are: My friend is an idealist, who somehow thinks that we always agree.

4. a writer or artist who treats subjects imaginatively.

5. a person who accepts the doctrines of philosophical idealism,  as by representing things in an ideal form, or as they might or should be rather than as they are, with emphasis on values.

I know many idealists.
Most of them are much younger than I am.

To me it seems that most children are idealists. I notice idealism is particularly pervasive in the decade between age 8 and 18.  Is that a good thing? 

Would you rather be an idealist, an optimist and reformer, or a pragmatist, skeptic and cynic? A person pursuing principles and purposes? or someone concerned primarily with the world as it seems to be and with how that perceived reality affects you?

I hear some adults that seem determined to disillusion every hopeful aspiration in not only youth, but even in young children.


Do we feel a need to instill 'reality? There is no Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny and no tooth fairy! Can we not even allow ideals of belief, generosity, and hope? Must we pass our own fears and despair onto their slight shoulders even before they gain strength or maturity?

Is there not time enough for us to comfort our young through failures of hopes and dreams? Might we not grant them, first, at least an opportunity to attempt to astonish despairing disbelief with wonderful schemes?

They often succeed where we have given up!
They often succeed by merely trying!
 Do we need to crush such good cheer?
Can someone smile too much?

Is it so important for anyone to know man's inhumanity to man?

I perused the synonyms and antonyms listed in the definitions above. Which would I rather be? Do I mock or encourage?