Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Sin of Being Realistic

In conjunction with the Jewish new year, I read a litany of "sins" we Jews must repent for on Yom Kippur. One of them had special resonance, both personally and universally.
"For the sin of being 'realistic' when our tradition calls upon us to transform reality."
I like the formulation, even if the "realist" in me balks at what remains unaddressed. After all, while it's certainly true that realism too often begets apathy and the maintenance of the status quo, it's also true that idealism sometimes begets rigid ideology and violence. Perhaps, then, tempered idealism is the best proposition, a virtue that will allow us to continue to struggle toward the horizon (and beyond)?

Whatever religion, philosophy, or ethic you subscribe to (or react against), our collective human aspiration calls on us to improve the lot of the whole. Here's to our keeping on keeping on, together.
View of Little Diamond Rim; Tonto National Forest; Arizona; August 2013

Photo credit: Christopher Reiger, 2013

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