You can be idealistic or you can be pragmatic. In my experience, pragmatic people get food on the table and are generally more generous of effort and time for other people than idealists.
Idealist love their ideals because it feels good to be idealistic. To them the moral high ground is far more worthy than the practical value of doing what is necessary to assure people get the things they need.
Ideals are moral absolution for acting badly or worse, not acting at all. I prefer it when people just do some good. Take steps however slow toward getting things done.
I have no patience for high moral rectitude. It’s rarely all that helpful to anyone but the people who hold it. Certainly it’s not helpful in politics. I prefer people who work to make things better. Not people who talk about what they want and then refuse to take even a step in the right direction because if they can’t reach their particular destination, it’s not worthy.
Idealist lead to extremist. They lead to feeling righteous about taking revenge, about acting destructively, about doing nothing when something would lead to a small improvement. Extremists are often cruel and self centered.
I was an idealist when I was young. It is easy to embrace the purity of idealism. It feels so right and good. But experience in the world has shown me several things – The Ideal is never real. It has never been achieved. It’s purity is misleading.
The Ideal should be nothing more than a pin on a wall to give us a destination. It should only be a pin because sometimes even the destination needs to be adjusted with circumstances. But what is more valuable – infinitely more valuable – is the practical daily action taken to make things better.
To look around at this moment and its present chaos and say – what can I do today that will help, even in a small way, make this day, this moment better.
We don’t live in the ideal, we live here in this moment. What you do now, however small the act, is the entire point of living.