I used to be an idealist...

...and I would like to enter my thirties the same way!  Fresh out of college, and really my whole life, I have been bursting with idealism.  When I was 8, my aspirations in life were to win Wimbledon and be the first female pope!  Somewhere along the line I became "real".  I became cynical.  I stopped believing that it was possible to change the world.  I stopped thinking that my work could be one more "drop in the bucket" [insert quote from Mother Theresa here]. 

My 29th birthday is right around the corner and after that it's into a new decade, a completely new survey box to check.  The last thing I want is to carry this cynicism over and let it have a full ten years to become malignant before I reevaluate my life at 40.  I live in a simple community, I raise two simple children, I don't have a prestigious job, but I have to believe that I am doing something amazing.  Maybe just by being a good person - a person who believes in the goodness of life and people - I can come to realize some of those ideals.

I got to thinking about this because TIME online did a report on the top 10 college commencement speakers.  I didn't make the list (boo!) but my alumnus, Knox College, did (yay!).  Although I didn't hear Stephen Colbert's speech in its entirety, I was struck by the profundity of this excerpt:

"Cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or be disappointed in us," he told the class of 2006. "Cynics always say no ... for as long as you have the strength to, say yes."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these thoughts and this quote, Kitie. It strikes a chord, particularly as I'm about to hit a birthday, too. Happy 29th!