Loveland, Colorado, USA
Member of the Idealists of the World Facebook group since February 2017
What does it mean to be an idealist?
An idealist is a visionary, seeing how the world might be improved.
An idealist is practical and knows what must be done to make things better.
An idealist is a doer, getting out there and taking action.
An idealist is a networker, helping to connect people to each other and to resources.
An idealist is a lover—of the world, of people, of all Creation.
An idealist knows herself to be both a drop in the great Ocean of Life, and the Ocean Itself.
When did you realize that you were an idealist? What moment or event sparked your desire to make the world a better place?
Perhaps my earliest memory is from age 7. My father’s job at the time was putting vinyl coatings onto wood floors in dairy barns, making them more sanitary. One day he brought home two calves, one for me and one for my younger sister. We fed them with bottles, then buckets of grain. When I learned that all this care was going into my beloved calf so that it could be slaughtered, I never ate meat again. I am now fully vegan—because I love animals, because I want good health, because I care about our planet, and because I want less violence in the world.
What keeps you optimistic, hopeful, and motivated?
The strength of my own will, as well as time in nature, keep me optimistic, hopeful, and motivated. I am disabled with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a pretty awful disease. I have no family anywhere, just my dog. Right now I’m packing up everything I own, because I have to move for the second time in two months. Still, I do little happy dances throughout the day. Even when I am in pain or can barely move, I smile to myself—allowing happiness to spread across my face, causing my eyes to sparkle—just to feel how my entire physiology is improved by that action. Today I found a waterfall and just sat by it. Right now I’m holding my 75-lb. dog, speaking to him in soothing tones because it’s thundering outside and it frightens him. When others get discouraged, I remind them of how much power they have over making the world better. Surrendering to how things are is sometimes necessary, but giving up is never an option.
Do you believe idealism is learned or is it inside of everyone?
I think idealism is innate. Children are so fresh from the Creator, and they themselves know how to create beauty, peace, kindness. Sadly we are too likely to be taught hatred and destruction, but even these things can be unlearned when we remember who we really are: Sparks of the Oneness.
What’s one thing you’ve done—big or small—that you are most proud of?
I’ve remained alive. I encountered so much neglect and abuse as a child that I’ve had suicidal thoughts since age 11, but have never attempted. Even without the support of family, however, I’ve sought out people who were more like me, found my own little pockets of “family” or “tribe,” excelled at many things, and grown into an ever-deepening strength. I’ve accomplished many things in my work life, and I once completed 2/3 of the coursework for a Ph.D. in two years while working full-time. But none of my other accomplishments mean nearly as much as my ongoing, steadfast refusal to give up on myself. Perhaps this translates into not giving up on others, too. That’s another thing that makes me happy and proud!