Craven de Kere wrote:
I'm talking about reductionism, simplifying life (which is not simple) into two tidy camps. The "either / or" approach.
Simplification should not be overdone. Idealism and pragmaticism are neither mutually exclusive nor the only available options.
The danger of oversimplification is ever present and a reductionist ( I admit to being one) must constantly resist the temptation. How ever the extreme opposite (over analysis) is quite often IMO, a potentially more dangerous situation because it breeds inaction because in the worst case scenario it could cause someone to wait too long to make a decision.
I think it is extremely important to seek a balance so that timely decisions can be made consistently and of course those decisions must be consistently correct. In this process there is an element that is intangible. Good leaders have this indescribable essence because in order to inspire followers a leader must make correct decisions consistently. It can only be described as something akin to "instinct". It is something that you are born with or not. It cannot be taught or learned Most of the mechanics of making good decisions can be learned but the final single element that always selects the right path is not in books. IMO.
Regarding idealism and pragmatism
The following are my definitions of each:
1. An idealist is one who sees the world as he would like it to be.
2. A pragmatist is one who sees the world as it really is.
If one accepts these definitions then they are the ONLY options for governing our thoughts and actions-----they are the prime movers.
IMO these two words will control our actions as we interact with the world. It must be accepted that each of us possesses each of these qualities in vastly varying degrees and the variance depends on each event depending on the desired consequence. For example: for one event I might be described as pragmatic----in the next event I might described as idealistic.
You are correct when you say these are not the only available options----there is ONE more-----a nice balance of the two.