What do I tell younger members of the prevailing generation, why do I think and view matters differently ? How do I say to my kids that I am a realist, not necessarily aligned with pragmatists, though I am more likely to concur with the latter than with an ideologist, of whatever hue ?
Well, my dears… One, and foremost : the best among available options is good enough for me. Call it the least worst of the evils, I will not be swayed a millimeter towards anything radical, an ideal you might pitch for. For me, an ideology crafted in the mooning mind is not worth the wind I occasionally let out, which little pass at least leaves me so much the better.
Two : the word perfection, sounding so profound, means little to me. Which, may I add, does not make me in the least sloppy, careless or callous, or less mindful and conscientious. There is no perfection that cannot be futher perfected, no best that cannot be bettered. Doing one’s best or to the best of one’s ability, within the constraints, sounds about right to me. I still remember the salesman, at an electronics goods counter in Singapore, asking a boastful customer rather deflatingly : What is your best, sir ?
Three : promises and plans sound as good to my ears as any other’s. But I do not hold my breath for it to come true. Truthfully, my reaction would soon turn sceptical, even into disbelief, and I am sure to consign the entire matter to the forgotten bin until it becomes worthy of resurrection upon evidence of effective effort. So, professional talkers, the glibbers, PR and advertising industry people, and politicians… Beware. This is one nut that will not be cracked by your words and beautiful presentations.
Four : when people use words like always, never, or any absolutes, they just arouse my suspicion of everything in the offering…
But you get drift, my dear. Which is how I am a realist, not why. As to why, well, let’s just say that I like walking the earth. What the astronauts do is not even interesting to me. So, what choice do I have ?
Except, that I will accept all of what I will otherwise refuse and refute, if you pre introduce yourself and declare yourself to be a romantic; or, if all of it were to relate to your person and concerns no one else in effect; or, if you do not expect or solicit belief at the very start… We both can have a laugh.