Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Eyes Wide Shut


I am an idealist. Still. Not because I maintain naiveté regarding the nature of the world or ignorance of its evils and seeming inevitabilities, but because it’s in my nature and, well, someone has to be. Idealism gives us cause to fight the good fight. Idealism gives us hope. However one of the complications of being an idealist is the ever-present and looming threat of disillusionment. To combat this I have had to create a paradigm of hope and faith in certain over-arching values, love, compassion, charity, through which to see the world in order to reconcile the evening news with my vision of a peaceful society. The extension of my idealism to my personal life and relationships creates a peculiar and piercing vulnerability, particularly in terms of trust. And trust, as with idealism, is both important and dangerous. Trust is the thing that binds me to the people to whom I am the closest, it lets me be my true self, free from fear of judgment, allows for the exchange of confidences, and combats loneliness. Betrayal of trust is the fastest route to a loss of self respect and a profound sense of abandonment that I have ever experienced. It is easy in the face of betrayal to want to put up barriers and refuse to trust again. But we can’t afford to do that. I think my willingness to trust other people is directly tied to my idealism, my hope. And I choose not to live a life devoid of hope. So I take a breath, gather myself, and begin to trust again.

1 comment: