"it's a mistake to equate realism with cynicism, and it's an even bigger mistake to equate idealism with naivete. Idealism simply means that you have ideals, that you believe the world can be better. It gives you something to work toward." --David LaMotte, several times during the conference at Montreat.
That's it exactly, David. Thanks for putting it so well. It's possible to be idealistic without being naive. Just because we believe the world can be better, can be different, doesn't mean we're foolish or unrealistic. It just means we see that the world can be better and we want to work toward that betterment.
Totally unrelated: coming home I was finally on the plane in Detroit. We sat on the runway, waiting to be de-iced, longer than the flight from Detroit to O'Hare actually takes (and much longer than it would have taken our thoroughly iced-over plane to fall out of the sky had we taken off without the de-icing...). I don't recall ever being on a plane as it was de-iced on the runway (I think usually they do it at the gate at most airports I've been through?). It was totally cool--we were enveloped in a spray of hot anti-freeze. We couldn't see anything out the windows, but we could feel the plane get warmer. Bizarre. And good, because once de-iced there was no waiting around for take-off (otherwise we would have had to wait in the de-icing line again). I finally got home about 3 hours after I should have. oy.