Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Zealous Zap 5/27/09

Idealists will always be in society, and we will survive.

John Zorn
Ah, here again are you?
While at work one day, many years ago, a colleague brought in a bag of assorted buttons. Not the buttons for closing your shirt, but the ones with the pin at the back, with slogans and pictures on them. The crew gathered around and he told us we could take one. Most of them had what you expect to see: a peace symbol. a heart saying "Be Mine" and cute slogans, "Kiss me I'm Irish" etc.

But there was one button, and only one, that read "REAL LIFE ISN'T LIKE THIS." I knew as soon as I saw it that it was my button. Not only was it the only one, not only did I know that no one else would want it, but it expressed an idea that I knew I would enjoy wearing on my chest.

And wear it I did, for years. I still have it. I was very interested in what people would say who saw it. I usually got the classic nihilistic remark like "Sorry to have to tell you this, buddy, but what you see is what you get." Or I'd get some version of "If this isn't real life, what is?" or "Where did you get that idea" accompanied by a snicker.

Sometimes I'd get silence. Those were the reactions I favored the most. I thought if I could put into somebody's thinking that there was more to life than what they knew, that what you see is not necessarily what you get and to ponder the possibility that indeed real life isn't the life that we walk around all day believing it is, I might accomplish a realization, an enlightenment, which would translate into some benefit for that person and maybe for the world.

In the late 50s, when I entered college, to be an idealist was a very unpopular thing to be. Whenever I spoke in idealistic terms about anything, I was scorned. That was especially true when I expressed my opinion on social issues. And yet, in less than a decade, the streets were filled with idealists trying to change society, and doing it. We wanted the world to get better than what it saw. We wanted to show that whatever real life might be it wasn't like the one we had been living.

It is the idealists in every age who write the agendas for the future. And, no matter how much scorn is flung at the ideals of free thinking, forward thinking individuals, we will survive.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Don't let the bad ideas get you down.


salemslot9 said...

I'm not living
I'm existing

Big Mark 243 said...

First, 'Salem's Lot' was an excellent adaptation of the Stephen King book, 'Salem's Lot'. It has always been one of the few TV miniseries based on his work that I thought was really worthwhile.

Idealists provide the link between conception and actualization. They are the 'charge' linking the two, like a lightning bolt across the sky.

Or so I would like to believe.

Pat said...

My late husband always accused
me of "looking at the world through
rose-colored glasses." He was right, in a way, but I prefer to
think that this world can be a
better place. How stark and bleak
it would be without the idealists!

Gerry said...

I think my son Dan who complained so bitterly in his teens about my idealism has come to realize that being raised by me infused him with enough idealism that he cannot concentrate on just making money either. Watching these millionaires crash and burn, after defrauding even their long time friends (ala Medoff and Sam Israel) is a lesson in learning that wanting yachts, private jets, and several mansions and doing anything to get them can bring you to a very bad end. while the idealists may not climb so high, but they provide stability to a society that sorely needs it when too many have tried to get rich too fast. Gerry

Beth said...

How can anything get done if there is no one there to imagine it? XO Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Quiet contemplation and wondering about what it means to be alive is awesome :o)