Maybe the moral high ground isn't as high as they say it is.

I'm having a bit of a rough morning. It's partly sleep deprivation, partly election aftermath, partly the song I'm listening to, and partly the lively and heartbreaking and emotional vs. idealistic debate happening over at freddie's place. It's actually a lot of work to be an idealist. And people try to disillusion me all the time. But without ideals, without hope, without something to work for, I feel like I'll curl up and blow away. In one of my classes on Monday, I said (only half-jokingly) that I didn't want to know about the interest groups that are lobbying the Intelligence Community because I'm an idealist and I would be disillusioned soon enough... but the professor said, "sorry, but I'm going to disillusion you anyway." Which didn't make me mad, but made me sad. I have SO many years of public service coming my way whereupon I'll be forced to swallow these illusions and become jaded and callous; does it really need to happen any sooner than necessary?

I'm feeding off of other peoples' sorrow, fear, anger today. I feel like a sponge for strong emotion and I can't seem to separate them out from my own this week. Here's something from an email I sent to someone just this morning that's tied in:

"It’s disturbing to think of the many levels that the presidency, the British/American love affair, the Iraqi war, the loss of ever-increasing lives (collateral or not), the funding and materiels going into it, the Russian president moving toward an authoritarian state in so many ways seems like news that we can rant and rail and rage about…but there’s always someone it will resonate with more desperately, more hopelessly, inciting so many more ripples of personal grief, fear, despondency… there are so many levels on which people are affected, there are so many ways to take action, there are so many ways to play into the apathetic lazy American stereotype, but… see, now I’m losing my train of thought.

This is so enormously also involved in why I believe I’m going to work in the public sector. I have the opportunity to make the world a safer, less conflicted place. If only on the most microscopic level, it goes back to the butterfly effect. Or that cheesy story about the boy throwing starfish back in the sea. Yes, I’m being overly idealistic here, but it’s the only thing that I can think of right now. But it’s something that I am able to do and accomplish in my short time on this earth. I do love this country. It’s taken me a long time to realize that. And I have a lot of personal conflicts in my professional life ahead of me, but to quote Utah Phillips (who may have just borrowed this from yet another source, or it may be a cliché I just don’t know), following the path of least resistance is what makes the river crooked. I have to try and keep battling for what I know is an intangible ideal in my lifetime: a utopian society where there’s a perfect economy of all things material, emotional, and societal. I’ve been saying this in many situations these days, but without hope, without faith that there is something better than the world we have right now, we have nothing. So you move forward, you do everything you can to do no harm, if not ameliorate what is ameliorable, and you never become complacent."

"Oh how I wish I were a trinity, so that if I lost a part of me, I’d still have two of the same to live. But nobody gets a lifetime rehearsal, as specks of dust we’re universal. To let this love survive would be the greatest gift that we could give."

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