Question

My idealism has become diluted over time. Does age do that to you?

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20 thoughts on “Question

    • I do too. I think that becoming comfortable, and settling down takes the edge off a bit. Maybe that’s why it’s always the young, the students, that seem the most vocal and militant when advocating change.
      If they shout loud enough they may wake us old ‘uns up too!

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  1. I’m not sure that my idealism is waning, but I think it is becoming more refined with age. When I was younger, I was very vocal and idealistic, but I was also very ignorant (and angry). The more I experience of life and the world, the more I learn about people and history, the more I recognize all the multiple facets of these problems that spark my idealism. I think, if anything, I am actually becoming more hopeful, but I’m also realizing that the solutions are not as black and white or as easy as I once thought they were, and I hope that I’m growing in patience. Is that a loss of idealism? I don’t know.

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    • Maybe it means your idealism is being tempered by you becoming more worldly-wise? You still have your values and your hope, but your expectations aren’t as high as they were?

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      • I’m still a perfectionist, with unyielding expectations. I think I just understand that life and people are really complex, and there are many factors that come into play that prevent people from realizing the fullness of *my* expectations, even when they are doing their best. And I also recognize my own capacity to be wrong. Maybe it’s idealism tempered by understanding. If I wasn’t building on this understanding, I would continue to be frustrated and irritated all the time, and that doesn’t lead to a whole lot of problem solving. I think for real change to happen in the world, it will take idealism tempered by patience and understanding.

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  2. Perhaps it’s not the loss of idealism as much as the naivete that often accompanies it during younger years. Becoming worldly-wise tempers the idealism, but the degree to which one embraces the idealism is then more of a choice of outlook on life…otherwise IMHO a jaded view of life dominates leading to feeling hopeless/helpless and ineffective.
    I call myself a realistic optimist…and yes, get very disappointed when it is clear my voice ‘doesn’t’ make a difference…but still, one never knows.

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  3. I enjoyed reading the question and the answers. Although I am not sure if idealism means the same to each of us. Are idealism and beliefs the same thing? Looking at the answers it feels there are different flavours.So city jackdaw what exactly is the idealism you are referring to?

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    • It was more ideals in general, rather than anything specific. For one example, I have been a vegetarian since I was eighteen years old. Back then it was a matter of principle, based on what I thought was right and wrong, and was more than willing to state my reasons. Now, though, twenty six years later, I am still a vegetarian, but treat it more just as a food choice., like “I’ll have the vegetable moussaka please” instead of the lamb. Just do my own thing without proselytising.

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  4. I’m the opposite of my younger me in this. When I was younger I was afraid to say things. I waited for others to go first. Now I do the other way around. I speak up and hope other will find a point in doing the same for good causes.

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  5. Reblogged this on Dolphin and commented:
    No, my idealism, as I am accused of, has grown, not diminished with age. I find the closer I am to God, the more I want Heaven on Earth.

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