Pessimism vs. Idealism

I have mentioned here before that I have a generally pessimistic worldview. I don’t place much trust in politicians, and I don’t assume that the government is out to do good (I don’t assume it’s conspiring against us, either, I just don’t assume that the whole is necessarily better than the sum of its parts). I think organized religion tends to be a bad idea, because whoever is at the top of the organization usually tries to take advantage of it. 

Actually, most large groups and organizations tend to turn out that way, at least so far as I’ve seen – they may go well for a while, but eventually someone comes into power who doesn’t have the same goals as the previous person in charge, and things go wrong. And yes, I tend to be suspicious of people I don’t know – it’s nothing personal, but i don’t trust people I don’t know. I don’t even trust all the people I do know. Yeah, I have issues.

It isn’t all supervillains and evil corporations, though. Despite the way I tend to interact with much of the world, I do have hopes for something better. There’s a reason my favorite superhero is Captain America, after all – a man who even without his abilities, isn’t willing to let the ends justify the means, or compromise his principles just to win. If you’ve ever seen a video game where the player chooses whether their character is good or evil, I can’t ever bring myself to play an evil character – even being evil in a virtual world is distasteful for me. My favorite book is Legend, where the main character – and most of the people on his side – face off against an enemy they know they can’t possibly beat because it is the right thing to do.

Hell, even my music choices tend to reflect how I see the world. Don’t believe me? Well, here are a few of my favorite pieces – I’ll try to provide both video and lyric links where possible, because they lyrics, for the pieces that have them are an important part of why I like them.

I Will Not Bow – Breaking Benjamin (lyrics)

Who Wants To Live Forever – Queen (lyrics)

Forfeit – Chevelle (lyrics)

Unbreakable – Fireflight (lyrics)

Hero & Monster – Skillet (lyrics & lyrics)

Firework – Katy Perry (lyrics)

Stronger – Kelly Clarkson (lyrics)

Never Gonna Be Alone – Nickelback (lyrics) (Yeah, yeah, bite me)

Innocent – Our Lady Peace (lyrics)

Fireproof – Pillar (lyrics)

Stand My Ground – Within Temptation (lyrics)

Citizen Soldier – Three Doors Down (lyrics)

Fly – We As Human (lyrics)

Black Blade & Protectors of the Earth – Two Steps from Hell

The End Run – Mass Effect 2 Soundtrack

So, yes, in the main, I do tend to think pessimistically. I can’t make the world change. But I can also control how I act inside it. And so, as corny as it may sound, I do not give up on friends or the people I care about. If there is something I can do for someone I care about, materially or emotionally, by living or dying, I will do it. I give my trust to my friends and loved ones without reservation or condition, and I do not ask or require the same in return. I am not the most talkative person – in fact, my social worker repeatedly has to get me to expand on what I say because I tend towards being laconic – but I have no secrets from those who are important to me. If there is something that you want to know about me, all you have to do is ask; I won’t be offended. 

So I can’t make the world a better place by myself. I’m idealistic, but realistic, too. But I can change the way I interact with the world and the people in it. Maybe that’s idealism enough.

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