Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Idealism in the Real World

Hello, my name is Anne-Marie, and I'm an idealist.

Have you ever heard of some people searching for a magic potion so they can become virgins again? I think idealism is the answer to that.

I am shocked, regularly, by people's behaviour. The same behaviour that shocked me yesterday, shocks me again today. No matter how often I see people cheat, lie, or steal, I'm shocked. No matter if the lie is small or big, the cheating is on a marriage or on a test, I'm shocked. Every day, the same experience hits me like a fresh ton of bricks!! I guess my innocence grows back at night.

How is it possible for people to choose to be less-than? And how can I learn to survive in that world?

I surround myself with people who, at least in general, find living up to my ideals easy. But my life extends beyond those I esteem and choose to keep close. I am regularly frustrated by the small, dishonourable acts of others. And there are at least 3 ocassions in my own life where I have behaved in a way that didn't follow the rules and where I feel that I might have been wrong. I have tried to justify that because the rules were stupid... but I'm not sure how just that argument is.

For example, I believe that all religions are one and that religious beliefs that are proclaimed more recently have a more directly relevant message from God. So the most recent Western religion, the Baha'i faith, which states that men and women are equal, is more true than previous religious claims that one sex has more or less rights than another. The only way that BOTH religious claims could be genuine messages from God would be if it has always been true that men and women are equal, it just didn't serve society at the time to assert that claim.

And that links back to my frustrated idealism in this way: If the rules of the day are wrong, then how wrong is it to break them? If it has always been true that men and women are equal, then it was wrong to ever allow conditions where this was not proclaimed.

But who am I to say: this is right, this is wrong? I know right from wrong, although it seems many do not. I know it is right to abide by the rules of the society I choose to be part of. But the rules are often wrong.

In Vancouver, where I used to live, it can be extremely difficult to find an apartment to rent or buy, because pets are usually not allowed. I think this is a foolish rule, there are lots of reasons why pets make life better and lots of reasons why a tenant or home-owner is a good or bad caretaker of the property which have nothing to do with owning a pet. That being said, having a pet is still breaking the rules. A stupid rule.

And I find some everyday things so frustrating. Purchasing an item that doesn't work, and being unable to exchange or return it. It may be wrong, but sometimes these small injustices just have to be lived with.

But how!!!

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