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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, June 28, 2004

Idealism

I am an Idealist. I hold myself and others to such a high standard, often it is difficult to face the realities of how other people see the world. This is often hit home to me in class discussions. I am currently writing an essay about whether an engineer who knows a product has a defect should report it or not. To me, the engineer has a responsibility to whoever is using his product - I could care less about the monetary loss that might be incurred in ensuring that a product is completely safe, or of the best quality. I was asked to decide how many potential lives lost are worth the cost of reporting and repairing a defect - to me, you can't put a price on life, even one potential life harmed - not lost, but harmed - is worth any amount of money to fix. Then I was told that companies in the past have decided that they would rather take the monetary damages of a family suing for an injured or killed relative rather than fix a product. Wow, I was blown away that a company could collectively decide that it would be better to take the risk of being sued rather than take the measures necessary to ensure that no one would be injured in the first place. Being an Idealist is often very difficult. I sometimes feel like I get smacked in the face because I can't believe the cynicism with which others live their life. It disappoints me so much that people view their fellow humans in such a negative light, because if they view others so negatively, I feel it must come because that is how they themselves choose to live. But then I sometimes wonder which is better - is it better to believe the worst and not get knocked down, or is it better to expect the best and get disappointed? Personally, I think I would rather expect the best, even though it means periodic disappointment, because at least my outlook on others, even if it is not realistic, is to give the benefit of the doubt, and generally see the good. Maybe I get hit with negative reality at times, but the other times, I am assuming the best, and I think that makes it worth it. I would hate to go around seeing everything in a negative light all the time, I think I would rather suffer being disappointed on occasion. Is this easy? Not at all, because those times when I am smacked with reality, I do suffer, and each time it is a little bit harder to go on being the Idealist that I think is in my heart. But so far, I am so lucky - I haven't been smacked enough to let go of my idealism yet. I hope that I never am.

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