Are we truly committed to the notion that ideals and values vary and alter in accordance with changing conditions? Should we not question such a relativistic dogma? Is not the degree of our sensitivity to the validity of the ultimate ideals and values that fluctuates rather than the ultimate ideals and values?
Abraham Joshua Heschel
The essence of Ananda is both personal and sociological. Personally for people who seek truth or identities of God, it helps to be with other people who share those ideals. Environment is stronger than willpower, and when you are with people who have high ideals, it helps you to grow in your ideals.
Ideals are very often formed in the effort to escape from the hard task of dealing with facts, which is the function of science and art. There is no process by which to reach an ideal. There are no tests by which to verify it. It is therefore impossible to frame a proposition about an ideal which can be proved or disproved. It follows that the use of ideals is to be strictly limited to proper cases, and that the attempt to use ideals in social discussion does not deserve serious consideration.
William Graham Sumner
Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people. The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.
"Ideals are like stars," Carl Schurz wrote. "You will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like seafarers on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny." Ideals do not determine what we do to make a living in life; They govern what we become as we do it.
Joan D. Chittister
It is not truly realistic or scientific to take short views, to sacrifice the future to immediate pressure, to ignore facts and forces that are disagreeable and to magnify the enduring quality of whatever falls in with immediate desire. It is false that the evils of the situation arise from absence of ideals; they spring from wrong ideals.
Patriotism is not 'my country right or wrong'; patriotism means loving the ideals for which America stands and having the courage to speak up when these ideals are distorted for personal or political gain. The American government was instituted to be the servant of the people, not our master.
Robert A. Heinlein
If you have realistic ideals and can generally live up to them, your self-esteem will not be threatened. If your ideals are exaggerated and you cannot reach them, your good feelings from successes may be short lived, and you may feel that you are never good enough. The continued hope for the impossible, the expectation that you will or can be unconditionally loved and adored, is not facing reality but rather holding onto an idealized image of yourself and an idealized version of what others can provide. If this is the case, your sense of self may be threatened by shame and its resulting depression, or by feelings of inadequacy for not living up to your unrealistic ideals. A better understanding of shame may help you recognize your tendency to hide what you feel from yourself and others.
Mary C. Lamia
It is attitude, infinitely more than circumstance, that determines the quality of life. Life is often quite tough, challenging us to choose between seemingly esoteric, intangible ideals and getting goodies or good vibes right now. You have character when you most often choose ideals.
Take the happiest man, the one most envied by the world, and in nine cases out of ten his inmost consciousness is one of failure. Either his ideals in the line of his achievements are pitched far higher than the achievements themselves, or else he has secret ideals of which the world knows nothing, and in regard to which he inwardly knows himself to be found wanting.
We are bound by ideals that teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these ideals. Every citizen must uphold them.... I ask you to be citizens. Citizens, not spectators. Citizens, not subjects. Responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character.
George W. Bush
In my public statements I have earnestly urged that there rested upon government many responsibilities which affect the moral andspiritual welfare of our people. The participation of women in elections has produced a keener realization of the importance of these questions and has contributed to higher national ideals. Moreover, it is through them that our national ideals are ingrained in our children.
To embrace the ideas of Malcolm X is to embrace the ideas of African Internationalism and the ideas of African Internationalism are opposite and contradictory to the ideals of Americanism. The ideals of African Internationalism promote freedom from oppression and injustice. These ideals promote freedom and independence.
Men have gone on to build up vast intellectual schemes, philosophies, and theologies, to prove that ideals are not real as ideals but as antecedently existing actualities. They have failed to see that in converting moral realities into matters of intellectual assent they have evinced lack of moral faith.
The novel should tell the truth, as I see the truth, or as the novelist persuades me to see it. And one more demand: I expect the novelist to aspire to improve the world... As a novelist, I want to be more than one more dog barking at the other dogs barking at me. Not out of any foolish hope that one novelist, or all virtuous novelists in chorus, can make much of a difference for good, except in the long run, but out of the need to prevent the human world from relaxing into something worse. To maintain the tension between truth and falsity, beauty and ugliness, good and evil... I believe the highest duty of the serious novelist is, whatever the means or technique, to be a critic of his society, to hold society to its own ideals, or if these ideals are unworthy, to suggest better ideals.
As soldiers, you will always have to cherish and live up to the three ideals of faithfulness, duty and sacrifice. Soldiers who always remain faithful to their nation, who are always prepared to sacrifice their lives, are invincible. If you, too, want to be invincible, engrave these three ideals in the innermost core of your hearts.
Subhas Chandra Bose
There is one great truth in western politics that I have been able to see, and that is this: The more left wing your political ideals are, the more naive a person you are likely to be. The more right wing your political ideals are, the more evil a person you are likely to be. Choosing a political standpoint is largely a matter of deciding which failure as a human you are more comfortable with.
Derek R. Audette
If you abide in the love of Christ, rooted in the faith, you will encounter, even amid setbacks and suffering, the source of true happiness and joy. Faith does not run counter to your highest ideals; on the contrary, it elevates and perfects those ideals. Dear young people, do not be satisfied with anything less than Truth and Love, do not be content with anything less than Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI
Growing up means learning what life is. When you're little, you have a set of ideals, standards, criteria, plans, outlooks, and you think that you have to sit around and wait for them to happen to you and then life will work. But life isn't like that, for anybody; you can't fall in love with a standard, you have to fall in love with a person. You can't live in a criteria, you have to live your life. You can't wait for your plans to materialize, because they may never materialize the way you think they will. You can't wait to watch your ideals and standards walk up to you, because you can't know what's yours until you have it. I always say, always take the first chance in case you never get a second one, but growing up takes that even one step further, growing up means that you have to hold on to what you have, when you have it, because what you have- that's yours- and all the ideals and criteria you have set in your head, those aren't yours, because those haven't happened to you.
C. JoyBell C.
Wars are generally fought for material things; they're not fought over ideals. After we get into them, we are told we are fighting for ideals. We are fighting for oil and tin and rubber and markets, and as long as we insist on a standard of life that is so high above all the rest of the world, we're going to have to pay for our standard of living with a lot of blood. I think we ought to re-examine the fact that Jesus was a pauper, and we should be committing ourselves to a very humble, simple way of life.
I now believe that evolution, or deevolution, never ends short of death, that no society has ever achieved an absolute pinnacle, that all humans are not created equal. In fact, I believe attempts to create some abstract equalization create a morass of injustices that rebound on the equalizers. Equal justice and equal opportunity are ideals we should seek, but we should recognize that humans administer the ideals and that humans do not have equal ability.
It seemed to him that all his life he had followed the ideals that other people, by their words or their writings, had instilled into him, and never the desires of his own heart. Always his course had been swayed by what he thought he should do and never by what he wanted with his whole soul to do. [... ] He had lived always in the future, and the present always, always had slopped through his fingers. His ideals? He thought of his desire to make a design, intricate and beautiful, out of the myriad pattern, that in which a man was born, worked, married, had children, and died, was likewise the most perfect? It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.
W. Somerset Maugham
The corporeal element in man is a large screen and partition that prevents him from perfectly perceiving abstract ideals; this would be the case even if the corporeal element were as pure and superior as the substance of the spheres ; how much more must this be the case with our dark and opaque body. However great the exertion of our mind may be to comprehend the Divine Being or any of the ideals, we find a screen and partition between God and us.
We like to stress the commonness of heroes. Essences seem undemocratic. We feel oppressed by the call to greatness. We regard an interest in glory or perfection as a sign of mental unhealthiness, and have decided that high achievers, who are called overachievers, owe their surplus ambition to a defect in mothering (either too little or too much). We want to admire but think we have a right not to be intimidated. We dislike feeling inferior to an ideal. So away with ideals, with essences. The only ideals allowed are healthy ones - those everyone may aspire to, or comfortably imagine oneself possessing.
Whereas modern cynicism brought despair about the ability of the human species to realize laudable ideals, postmodern cynicism doesn't "" not because it's optimistic, but because it can't take ideals seriously in the first place. The prevailing attitude is Absurdism. A postmodern magazine may be irreverent, but not bitterly irreverent, for it's not purposefully irreverent; its aim is indiscriminate, because everyone is equally ridiculous. And anyway, there's no moral basis for passing judgment. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
Whereas modern cynicism brought despair about the ability of the human species to realize laudable ideals, postmodern cynicism doesn't - not because it's optimistic, but because it can't take ideals seriously in the first place. The prevailing attitude is Absurdism. A postmodern magazine may be irreverent, but not bitterly irreverent, for it's not purposefully irreverent; its aim is indiscriminate, because everyone is equally ridiculous. And anyway, there's no moral basis for passing judgment. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
There is a difference between criticizing people and criticizing a people's uninformed ideals. That is, unless one defines himself or others by their ideals, then he is offended, and usually offended secretly. Because oddly enough, this person is the same person quickest to resort to dismissive name-calling, such as 'bigot' or 'zealot'. And oddly enough, he is always the one, the 'open-minded' one, who adamantly protests for, not only himself, but others not to listen to any type of scholarly theological truth inherently for the sake of his own personal, moral beliefs.
No nation is better than its sacred book. In that book are expressed its highest ideals of life, and no nation rises above those ideals. No nation has a sacred book to be compared with ours. This American nation from its first settlement at Jamestown to the present hour is based upon and permeated by the principles of the Bible. The more this Bible enters into our national life the grander and purer and better will that life become.
David Josiah Brewer
When the business man rebukes the idealism of his office-boy, it is commonly in some such speech as this: "Ah, yes, when one is young, one has these ideals in the abstract and these castles in the air; but in middle age they all break up like clouds, and one comes down to a belief in practical politics, to using the machinery one has and getting on with the world as it is." Thus, at least, venerable and philanthropic old men now in their honoured graves used to talk to me when I was a boy.But since then I have grown up and have discovered that these philanthropic old men were telling lies. What has really happened is exactly the opposite of what they said would happen. They said that I should lose my ideals and begin to believe in the methods of practical politicians. Now, I have not lost my ideals in the least; my faith in fundamentals is exactly what it always was. What I have lost is my old childlike faith in practical politics. I am still as much concerned as ever about the Battle of Armageddon; but I am not so much concerned about the General Election. As a babe I leapt up on my mother's knee at the mere mention of it. No; the vision is always solid and reliable. The vision is always a fact. It is the reality that is often a fraud. As much as I ever did, more than I ever did, I believe in Liberalism. But there was a rosy time of innocence when I believed in Liberals.
It's not very easy to grow up into a woman. We are always taught, almost bombarded, with ideals of what we should be at every age in our lives: "This is what you should wear at age twenty", "That is what you must act like at age twenty-five", "This is what you should be doing when you are seventeen." But amidst all the many voices that bark all these orders and set all of these ideals for girls today, there lacks the voice of assurance. There is no comfort and assurance. I want to be able to say, that there are four things admirable for a woman to be, at any age! Whether you are four or forty-four or nineteen! It's always wonderful to be elegant, it's always fashionable to have grace, it's always glamorous to be brave, and it's always important to own a delectable perfume! Yes, wearing a beautiful fragrance is in style at any age!
C. JoyBell C.
Can we only speak when we are fully living what we are saying? If all our words had to cover all our actions, we would be doomed to permanent silence! Sometimes we are called to proclaim God's love even when we are not yet fully able to live it. Does that mean we are hypocrites? Only when our own words no longer call us to conversion. Nobody completely lives up to his or her own ideals and visions. But by proclaiming our ideals and visions with great conviction and great humility, we may gradually grow into the truth we speak. As long as we know that our lives always will speak louder than our words, we can trust that our words will remain humble.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Water and ice made of the same thing. He thought most people were made of the same thing, too... If he had sort all the humanity by its material essence, he thought he would probably end up with a single gigantic pile. But here was the interesting thing. Ice was distinct from - and in his view, better than - what it was made of. He wanted to be better than what he was made of. In Mumbai's dirty water, he wanted to be ice. He wanted to have ideals. For self-interested reasons, one of the ideals he most wanted to have was a belief in the possibility of justice.