Sunday Sayings – Idealism

I have been pondering the concept of idealistic versus realistic thoughts and its relationship to wisdom here. As always, I find Quotes and Sayings to be a great guide in deciphering the details and deciding on which side of the ledger I currently sit.


I think Confucius has some intriguing words for us.

“By three methods we may learn wisdom:

First, by reflection, which is noblest;

Second, by imitation, which is easiest;

and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

~ Confucius

Quite rightly, without reflection we cannot find a deeper meaning and sense in our world.

Experience becomes the teacher, when the ears will not listen.

In philosophy, when discussing the issues of perception, idealism is a theory that states that our reality is shaped by our thoughts and ideas.

In a sociological sense, idealism emphasizes how human ideas—especially beliefs and values—shape society.

Your dictionary
  • Idealism Believes in the Universal Mind
  • Idealism Regards Man as a Spiritual Being
  • The World of Ideas and Values is more important than the world of Matter: …
  • Real knowledge is perceived in mind
  • Importance of Personality Development

“I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

~ Ann Frank

Anne Frank and her family kept true to her ideals, even though they cost them their life.

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

~ Confucius

Mostly anonymous, proverbs and sayings are a portal through time to generations past and echo a diverse range of cultures. They speak of the experiences of many lessons learned and the wisdom from thousands of lives already lived.

What do you think of the sayings this week?

Do you think wisdom is gained more from mental thoughts and ideas, or pragmatic actions?

I inivte you to join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Everyone’s opinion is welcome at StPA.


20 thoughts on “Sunday Sayings – Idealism”

  1. Idealism is the flame which brings change to the world. It may bring light, illuminating it. Or it may bring fire, burning it.
    But without idealism, there would be little change…

    And yes, the idealism within me tells me, that deep inside people really are, fundamentally, good at heart.
    Still, that does not at all stop them from doing evil…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Study the past if you would define the future” is a very idealistic bit of thinking. I mean, there isn’t a politician alive today whose precept that is.


  3. Firstly I really like the Confucius quote on reflection. I find myself reflecting a bit on the subject of reflection at the moment and the importance of finding time for reflection in a fast paced digital life.
    I am disappointed that the world often seems to cynical for idealism and that my cynicism interferes with my idealism, although never so cynical I lose that idealism, like Anne Frank I have to believe in basic goodness or at least hope for the best.


  4. Wow! This is some heavy rumination!
    I think I tend to be practical – not because I was necessarily coded this way, but by necessity. I have learnt to look beyond myself & circumstances because my Idealist Husband. Growing with him these 20 years has made me a more thoughtful and hopeful person.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is interesting that your husband has tempered your practicality and made you more hopeful. That sounds really positive. And no doubt you have influenced him to be more practical as well, Ju-Lyn?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Going with the flow sounds like a good strategy during tumultuous times. It is a protectiveel mechanism that prevents us from becoming too overwrought by circumstances that we have no control over. But as you alluded to, we can’t be that way continuously. We need reality to put a check on that laid back life.


  5. This is quite profound, Amanda. I think wisdom is gained both from reflecting on our beliefs and ideals and also from what we learn along the way, our experiences. The conflict between that what is ideal and what is practical is a deep one and I often wonder if the two can meet or if they do ever meet? For me, the challenge is harder cause i tend to and want to choose ideal over practical at more times than I would like to admit. But I am learning slowly that choosing so always does not yield a desirable result…simply because it wasn’t practical! So, for me it’s an ongoing process of un learning , re learning and learning and stumbling a few times too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Moon. I love your answers to my Sunday Sayings posts.
      When we are younger, Plan A often seems more attractive than Plan B. Age and experience do tend to shape our thinking towards giving Plan B more of a look in – in our decisions. Finding a balance between the two is ideal – but I can’t use that work because Ideal is one end of the spectrum!!! What has contributed to your learning to move from A to B? Mistakes, or other issues?


  6. I loved that first Confucius quote, yes when all other learning fails, experience can provide some bitterly learnt lessons. I’m not sure if I’m an idealist, a realist, or a cynic. – I suspect a mix of all three. I suspect you’re probably the same, but perhaps with a little less cynicism than I have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t pick you for a cynic, Chris, but it is good to know I have some company. We do seem to be on a similar wavelength. Were you more idealistic when you were young, or cynical then, too?


  7. I believe that I have become less idealistic and more of a realist over the years. My expectations have been tempered a bit! If I can look at my life from the perspective of the universe, than I suppose everything is going fine! I have been enjoying the Facebook page “ Idealists of the World” because people everywhere are still fighting the good fight to do good things. More compassion needed! 💕


    1. Hey my good buddy Nancy! Great to hear from you here! So you have tempered your ideals over the years, though experiences, perhaps? Are more older folks generally given more to reality than to ideals, I wonder? If you have read any of Marlene’s comments here, you would know that she would absolutely agree with you regarding the Universe!
      I have looked up the Idealists of the World on Facie – it does look very inspiring! Thanks for the recommendation. I agree that more compassion is necessary in this world. Let us spread a bit more around each day! You would be the person to do that, don’t you think?


  8. Hello – wanted to choke on and say that I loved this part:
    ” when the ears will not listen ”
    Oh we humans can sometimes be so hard of hearing –
    And much to ponder here – much good stuff

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It all depends where you were born and who shapes your thoughts.. A fanatical suicide bomber is/was also an idealist.. Wisdom must transcend our cultural beliefs and what we have learned from our society and where we live.. That’s not easy..


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