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From the « World Book of Values » :Idealism and Firmness

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With 253 co-authors from 28 countries, this book on values shows what can currently be achieved through Internet.

Extracts on idealism and firmness.

What is idealism? Idealism is the belief that tomorrow will be better than today, that in every man there is a possibility of moving towards a full awareness of himself and the other. Nowadays every individual feels trapped in a sphere or a bubble from which he cannot get out: he is a manager, a worker, a mother, a man or a woman… (s)he acts in a certain way and it seems no other possibilities exist to act or to be differently, (s)he creates its own limitations. Idealism means becoming conscious that above the limits of biological and environmental, a lot of restrictions are artificial and that it is always possible to push them to go towards oneself and the others; idealism means belief and awaking to our internal and external world to marvel at and to contribute to its evolution. And this belief in man and its evolution is a source of optimism and surpassing oneself.

Idealism is also a guide in life, a thread in a maze or a lighthouse reassuring when external conditions are rough. When faced with an negative action such as lying, betrayal… idealism can help to understand the attitude of the other, his momentary weakness, to forgive without accepting. Idealism becomes then the door of compassion if not empathy. With idealism, we know that the person is not inherently bad, we search what could bring such an action. Idealism is the key to go towards a civilization without violence and hate while remaining fair and rigorous. It allows getting into a relationship while seeking in the Other his/her spark of divinity.

Idealism becomes joy when confronted to the human spirit, but it may also be suffering when facing his violence. Idealism creates links, calls for solidarity when difficult times, listens with patience.

Idealism is a tremendous reservoir of energy where one draws the strength to get up every morning and to fight because idealism pushes to think that it is useful; idealism gives sense.

Idealism is the ability to believe in a world where the fear and pain would have disappeared, a world where we could understand the language of other people but also of animals and plants, a world where idealism and realism would mean the same thing, a world where sorrow would be banished, where the ego would continue to exist but without dominating.

Idealism is a project focused on the future, born from past works wonder and from imagination to create future. Idealism is to see what is beautiful, elegant and of refined in the world around us.

Firmness, so criticized these days, and yet representing the armature, the structure of our personality but also of any existing system, tangible or intangible.
Firmness means courage, energy, but like any value, it needs to be accompanied by its mirror value, Compassion, otherwise it will be transformed into hardness according to the law of duality applied to humanity.
Firmness is a container in which love and compassion flow; if not this love would spread and lose its transformational force.
Firmness is the cousin of Rigor. The border is porous between these two values and could be quickly crossed if Mercy does not interpose because Firmness is the gate keeper of good and evil. Remember this phrase you probably heard: « I act firmly for your sake », a phrase which triggers fear of not existing any more.

What is firmness? Firmness is the capacity to say no, to refuse selling our soul to the devil as Faust; it is the value which allows to keep our head high, to stand up, to say no to what we do not believe, to what is against our values. Because it is to us that Firmness applies first and foremost. To look ourselves without compromise, as we are, is the key of fairness towards others, starting with our children. Firmness enables us and our entourage to grow up and make up, to transcend ourselves and to lead.
Because Firmness is also linked to power, to authority, it is then an inner strength in the service of the world and makes great leaders. It is tied up to Justice without hate and also to decision taking which is sometimes difficult as we must arbitrate, knowing that this decision will affect the lives of other people as well as our own life: decision of separation from what is negative for ourselves or the society, a decision of rupture that we believe is necessary, but which is always difficult and sometimes painful even if transformative. The Firmness is then not only a way of asserting ourselves but also of transformation as these decisions lead to reflection on our values, our place in a system, the power that we hold and the use that we make of it. Firmness especially obliges us to put ourselves in the place of the Other, to feel what they feel when they face our power, to become aware of this power and the necessity of love in our decisions.
Firmness means sometimes loneliness but always self-transcendence toward greater compassion.

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