Thursday, August 22, 2013

Let's Get Cynical.

I'm an idealist.
I wouldn't recommended it.

I work with a lot of children who are idealists.  In fact I'd go so far to say that most (all?) children are idealists.  They sense the unfairness in things and voice them as if they are entitled to fairness.  Of course fair in a child's eye is always a little skewed but the ideal there is a good one.  Fairs fair and everyone should be treated equally.

A while ago I was complaining to a friend about something in the school system being not fair (not "that's sooo unfair" but as in, "this is not a fair way to do things").  She turned to me and said 'yes, but tell me one thing in life that is fair? You shouldn't expect fairness because nothing is fair'. I've thought about that a lot since she said it and it INFURIATES me that it's ...absolutely true.  Despite laws, morals, ideals and bad joo joo fairness doesn't really get a look in.  Any law has a loophole, morals are subjective, ideals are well intentioned but don't involve money so noone cares and bad joo joo never tends to get the bad guys anyway.

The problem for me is that idealism in my view basically follows an ideal of everything being fair for everyone.  Justice for one and all.

But is that reality?
Is anything truly balanced on the scale of life?

Sure, what goes up must come down but do good deeds beget good responses and does thinking positive bring positive results?  What about that karma then?  Do bad deeds bring bad results?  Does  an evil act bring adequate judgement? 

I remember being at uni and being *extremely* idealistic about life and how people should be.  I had it all worked out.  All the rich share their wealth which would feed the poor.   People should just love rather than hate which would end all hate crimes and war.  No one need die of a curable disease because all diseases would be curable with money being no object to fund endless medical research.  No need to worry about the environment with it being universally acknowledged that all electricity companies insist on renewable energy usage - free for all.  No petrol wars with us all driving water fueled cars etc.  It could be so easy.

It's not.

At some point reality does a big old conga line through the idealism love fest and you are left with only one defense -  Cynicism.    Cynicism is subversion of mainstream ideas through ridicule because you generally distrust the motivations of people or organisations.  At the heart Cynics are so distrustful because they have seen a better way of life ripped apart unnecessarily usually due to a compromise in ideals. 
I graduated to cynicism years ago and from my own experience I can confirm that beneath the ridicule beats the raw heart of a die-hard idealist.  I've added to my list of things that would make our world better and it keeps getting longer every week.  But I do wonder if I am the only one.   No one talks about being an idealist anymore (or a cynic for that matter).
Is idealism a misguided blip that a select few encounter on the way to adulthood or are all humans at one point idealists?
Are all idealists destined to become cynics?

Who the hell is an idealist supposed to vote for?

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