A realist…

The sun sets on another day…

Sunset was sublime, and though the day waned with a power that could not easily be matched, the clouds swallowed the sunset like a chewy lemon drop. Still, high above I know the sunset was crisp, and amazing and smiled a little even as darkness fell.

A few definitions before I go a little to the side:

  • Realist – a person who accepts a situation as it is and is prepared to deal with it accordingly
  • Idealist – a person who is guided more by ideals than by practical considerations
  • Optimist – a person disposed to take a favorable view of things
  • Pessimist – a person who tends to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen
  • Surrealist – a person that balances a rational vision of life with one that asserts the power of the unconscious and dreams

I had a discussion today with a parent who was working to turn their child into a realist. Well, not really, we did not get into intentions or final transformations but instead this was brought up and it got me thinking about the ways people see the world. There are 5 ways listed, but do not take these as an all inclusive list. There are literally dozens of others that are fringe, and maybe even more that are parts of some extreme way of thinking. I could talk about it all for a virtually unlimited amount of time, but time is limited, right?

Back to the point. I thought for a few moments about my children and the people around me, and thought of the people who are and were important in my life. I expanded my thinking to dozens of secondary’s, and along the way thought about people who were less favorable in my life, and the ways that I saw them, and of course how they saw me. (Not counting the one laughable person who considered me disingenuous recently that I still laugh about, I threw that as an outlier)

I wrote about attraction once here and this applies to some amount to the next several paragraphs. If the last year shows us anything it shows that people of like mind about some items tend to seek each other out. Each would describe themselves in a different light, but most fall within the containers noted above. (I hate putting people in boxes so I will let them out in a moment.) By nature we also find those people we get along with, and sometimes that means an optimist and pessimist may seek each other out and find a way to balance each other. We also may have an idealist and a realist that create a perfect partnership because they are able to see each others points of view. Those are often outliers. There are unique situations everywhere. There are also rules that are floating around that seem to be very stringent.

If a person is a realist it is difficult (not impossible) for them to see the point of view of an idealist. It is also difficult (not impossible) for them to change. At one point in my life I believed I could change someone who was mostly correct for me. This person had a great many passions that I had and shared a lot of common interests, and with that I thought the deficiencies could be changed and a more optimistic view could be seen, and perhaps a more idealistic one. This way of thinking cost me dearly, and in the process changed many of my perspectives on life forever.

I also found that with children you have some influence, but not an overarching influence and that, in itself, will create a problem if you try to change a child to something they are not. It is funny really, at a young age we find out a bit of who we are, and as we do, there is a balance that we build within ourselves.

Why a balance?

Well, to me, and perhaps that is just to me, we are a lot like “The Breakfast Club” inside of each of us in the optimist, the pessimist, the realist, the idealist, and the surrealist, we just have never been able to introduce them all. As we progress through life and through the myriad of experiences in our way, we see different aspects of these behaviors and a lot more. Still, at our core we are usually one thing or another, and if we push to hard to change, well, it can be bad.

I have seen many children try to be molded by their parents into realistic robots when they are truly amazing idealists and it makes me sad, because after all, a realist will see a problem as it is, and an idealist will see more solutions than most realists can possibly imagine. It is something to think about.

I have a friend who used to be the most impressive idealist I knew. They looked for the stars and perhaps beyond to find solutions and were not limited by just what was in front of them, in fact they were not limited at all. Instead they found a way each day to see more and do more. Now they pretend to be a realist, and in the process have become miserable, with no purpose, and little positivity. In my opinion, it was not worth it.

So as the sun sets on another day, define all of who you are, don’t let me or anyone else put you in a box, in fact burn the box, and find a path to being happy. Remember, it is your path, and setting someone else’s path is not possible, set your course and some will go along for the ride, and others will learn from you, but go your own way and make the world yours, no matter what.

Sleep sweet, love life, and cowabunga…