1 (a): an adherent of a philosophy theory of idealism: the attitude of a person who believes that it is possible to live according to very high standards of behavior and honesty; (b): an artist or author who advocates or practices idealism in art or writing
2: one guided by ideals: especially: one that places ideals before practical considerations



Idealist (n.): “one who represents things in an ideal form,” 1829. Earlier (1796) in a philosophical sense “one who believes reality consists only in (Platonic) ideals.”

Idealism (n.): 1796 in the abstract metaphysical sense “belief that reality is made up only of ideas.” Probably formed on model of French idéalisme. Meaning “tendency to represent things in an ideal form” is from 1829. Meaning “pursuit of the ideal, a striving after the perfect state” (of truth, purity, justice, etc.).

Ideal (adj.): early 15th century, “pertaining to an archetype or model,” from Late Latin idealisexisting in idea,” from Latin idea in the Platonic sense. Senses “conceived as perfect; existing only in idea,” are from 1610s. Ideagenousgenerating ideas” (1839) is a word from early psychology, apparently coined by Dr. Thomas Laycock, house surgeon to York County Hospital.



“That glorious vision of doing good is so often the sanguine mirage of so many good minds.”

Charles Dickens (1812-1870, well-loved prolific British author and social critics of numerous classic works like “A Tale of Two Cities,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Great Expectations,” “Nicholas Nickleby,” and “David Copperfield”)

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“Whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man's nature and of life's potential.”

Ayn Rand (1905-1982, Russian-born American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter, best known for her two best-selling novels, “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” and for developing a philosophical system she called, Objectivism)

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“Why do we call all our generous ideas illusions, and the mean ones truths?”

Edith Wharton (1862-1937, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer; also nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927; best known for “The Age of Innocence,” “Ethan Frome,” and “The House of Mirth”)

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“Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.”

George Carlin (1937-2008, George Denis Patrick Carlin, one of the most important and influential American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic, and author)

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“He loved the people just as much as he feared and detested persons.”

Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951, American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright; first writer from the U.S. to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920)

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“A man is always devoted to something more tangible than a woman - the idea of her.”

Bauvard (author and writer, best known for “The Prince of Plungers”)

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“What has our culture lost in 1980 that the avant-garde had in 1890? Ebullience, idealism, confidence, the belief that there was plenty of territory to explore, and above all the sense that art, in the most disinterested and noble way, could find the necessary metaphors by which a radically changing culture could be explained to its inhabitants.”

Robert Hughes (1938-2012, eloquent, combative art critic, writer, and historian)

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“That glorious vision of doing good is so often the sanguine mirage of so many good minds.”

— Charles Dickens


The “sanguine mirage” is such an eloquent imagery of truth.  What great contributions Charles Dickens has given us in the eloquent power of his words!

Why is it, though, we mean well and may have good intentions, we are unable to rev up the courage to do good works?  What gets in our way?  Why do we cower so to the indifference of others’ suffering?

One of the bravest acts we can do is to be kind and loving and not only to our love ones, but to those who oppose us and misunderstand our intentions.

Perhaps, we are unable to look each other in the eyes because of the mirror that reflects back to us.  Are we afraid to see ourselves in “the other,” soul mates that may not ideally represent those images we most want to be.  If we acknowledge what may exists in others, we will have to do some soul searching, self-examination, and inner work to change our thoughts, unconscious patterns, and transform our lives.

A funny incident happened years ago while commuting to work on the NYC subway system.  I stood next to a fair-skinned woman on a train.  When she looked over at me she nearly broke her neck in getting away.  It became apparent that she was not a white woman, but a fair skinned black woman like myself.  No one near her was thinking about such a minor detail or even cared.  That’s beauty of a metropolis like NYC, the gift of anonymity.  This woman was obviously frightened by the possibility of being exposed in her lie.

Let us contemplate all the great adventures we all can have in delving down to the nitty-gritty of our authentic selves.  How many prisons doors would fly open and set us free?   Perhaps, we can live ideal lives of astounding beauty doing good works, galore!

Faithfully Yours, Tonya



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