On Being An Idealist

I'm an idealist living in 2017.

I often wake up filled with dread that somebody is going to cut me down today. So then I go inward and ask myself what I can do to minimize the damage.

I frequently worry about all of the same fates that I grew afraid of during my earliest years of my mind's development. So then I go out of my way to allow myself to make certain mistakes that will ultimately test my threshold for fear.

I truly believe that making someone smile can truly aid anyone who was around to witness that moment - like free medicine for the soul. If you're lucky and get a laugh, that's bonus. So I try to go out of my way to make people feel respected and comfortable.

Don't get me wrong, I can be cynical with the best of them. I love misanthropic, dark humor focusing on the worst, most bitterly uncomfortable tendencies in humanity. Every year until about a year or two ago, while making New Years' Resolutions, I would remind myself to stop being negative. While from time to time I do still remind myself to stay with a positive outlook, I have stopped adding it to my resolutions because it's not as critical of an issue as it used to be. Cynicism fueled my views like cancerous cells replicating faster than cellularly permitted. What changed? It's complicated, but between a combination of watching a close friend die, having a near-death experience of my own, and navigating up and out of enough peaks and valleys - I began to develop the confidence that I had been lacking so I could evolve to be that positive force I knew that I could be. The same way a fisherman familiarizes her or hisself with tides, weather forecasts, fish behavioral patterns, depth charts, bait variability - they must inevitably teach themselves how to accept wins and losses - or else why get out on the water?

When we can find the hidden elegance and romance within the simplest, glory-free, and most mundane aspects of daily life, then we truly become our best selves; for life is a constant negotiation of balancing the highs with the lows.

Human beings are filled with potential to do anything we put our mind to. It's as easy as making the choice. So let's do some good while we're all here.

JH