Sunday, June 22, 2003

Yesterday's Post

Talking about wanting to change the world got me thinking about why it is I want to do that. Well, there's the obvious reason. Letting things continue on as they are now is not in the best interests of all but the richest people on the planet. There's the empathetic/altruistic reason. Watching so much pain and torture and ickiness on a global scale will drive almost anybody to want to do something to stop it. There's the selfish reason. If I fix it then I don't have to deal with this shit any more. And then there's the ego-driven reason. We want the admiration or power or control or some other ego boost in knowing we've been responsible for righting a wrong. I'm just hoping that the last reason is only the teeniest part of why I want to change the world. But to say it's not there at all would be lying.

And that whole line of thought got me thinking about the label "Tortured Idealist". When it comes to reading and writing fiction, I have to admit I am an idealist. I want the "happy ending" where the good guys win (even though some of them may die and they'll go through hell to get there). But when it comes to the real world, I would have to say I'm a realistic idealist with strong optimistic tendencies and a few episodes of pessimism (especially when it comes to public education in the US). And in the moments when my confidence fades to black, I'm a pessimist with infrequent boughts of realism. And I read that and wonder how I ever feel like one person.

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