An Analysis of the Positive and Negative Aspects of Idealism in the Western Civilization

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Updated: Jun 28, 2022
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Everyone has ideals. From the most insignificant aspect in our life, such as the perfect meal, to the most important, perhaps the perfect family, we all have ideals. As a result, we must all be idealists, although some are more extreme idealists than others, as evidenced by the actions of Dr. Martin Luther King, and by contrast, at the opposite end of the spectrum, Adolf Hitler. The ideal of the former, was one of a better society in which coloured and white persons could live in harmony and be treated equally, whereas the latter of the two eccentric, world reknown idealists, Hitler, had an idea of a perfect world, which was one without those of Jewish descent.

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In today s society, most people do not go to such lengths to make such ideals a reality, but every conscious being has their own idea, or image, of the perfect X or perfect Y , in their minds. Perhaps the most common ideal in today s westernized civilization is to have a well-paying career, a nice, big house, fancy car, and a happy family, or in other words, the American Dream.

Anything less than this would be unacceptable. This seems to be a problem with having too many ideals, or feeling too strongly about them. I feel that this type of idealism usually leads us to disappointment because it is difficult to settle for second-best, and could possibly lead to a general unhappiness within ourselves. On the other hand, idealism also gives us goals to strive for. We all want the best for ourselves, our families, and for those around us. Ideals give us a path to follow, so to speak, and give us the opportunity to obtain better than what we ve already accumulated. But why cannot we accept, be content, and thankful for what is given to us? Or be happy for the simple fact of being alive and well? Perhaps it is because we all know in our minds that something better exists. This is the mindset with which most of us, if not all, live with during the first half of our life. It is in the second half of our lifetime when most of us come to the realization that they are just happy to simply be alive. In doing so, they live with fewer ideals and expectations. This helps to solidify the thought that we have ideals to help guide us, because it is in the first half of life in which we need the most guidance, where we need a certain path to follow. Along the way, we may realize that our image of a perfect X cannot be made into a reality, again, which would lead to disappointment, but that s what life is about, is it not? And so, we struggle to deal with dissatisfaction for a while, and then move on, accepting what we are given. Idealism. It just happens to be another aspect of what it is to be human. We should make use of it in the most positive way as possible as a civilization, and learn to accept that what we deem perfect is not always attainable. Idealism. It is an important, beneficial, yet detrimental, proclivity we cannot deny.

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An Analysis of the Positive and Negative Aspects of Idealism in the Western Civilization. (2022, Jun 26). Retrieved from