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Practically Idealistic blog
The title for this blog originated with use of the term “practical idealist” in this 1996 opinion piece, which asked: “To what kind of work should a practical idealist aspire?” A century and a half earlier, Emerson, in his 1841 essay Circles, wrote: “There are degrees in idealism.  We learn first to play with it academically. . . .  Then we see in the heyday of youth and poetry that it may be true, that it is true in gleams and fragments.  Then, its countenance waxes stern and grand, and we see that it must be true.  It now shows itself ethical and practical.”  John Dewey and Mahatma Gandhi embraced practical idealism in the 20th century, as did UN Secretary General U Thant.  Al Gore invoked it in a 1998 speech. In the context of this blog, the term is meant to convey idealism tempered but not overwhelmed by realism: a search for the ideal on a path guided by common sense.
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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Giving Blood


There is a constant need for blood donors.  I was able to give blood the other day and would invite anyone eligible to consider doing so.  The Red Cross offers encouragement.

9:04 am est 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Gun Violence and Youth Activism

It was alarming to learn of yet another mass shooting, yet again at a school--this time, Douglas H.S. in Parkland, Florida, on February 14.  Troubling warnings were repeatedly missed in this case, with devastating consequences for the affected families and community.  Peace to them.


May this country more uniformly value human life above the proliferation of weapons of war.  The emerging activism of high-school students from Parkland provides hope that, as in Birmingham during the civil rights movement, young voices and youth action may move adults forward on an issue that should be nonpartisan.  The likelihood that progress will be slow and difficult is, of course, no reason to give up.


January 2015 (January 10) post discussed related matters, including a PBS Frontline program, "Gunned Down."

As a parent, I had earlier reflected on the Newtown attack.

7:55 am est 

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