P is for Pragmatist

25487965-BD7E-41FE-8860-576F5C95D157I am a pragmatist. So what, exactly, is a pragmatist? A pragmatist is a person who is guided more by practical considerations than by ideals and who takes a realistic approach to addressing problems and finding solutions. A pragmatist is an adherent of pragmatism, which is an approach that assesses the truth of meanings, of theories, or of beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application.

Pragmatists stress action over doctrine. Pragmatists embrace the notion that ideas base their meanings from their consequences and that the best way to evaluate the practicality of ideas, policies, and proposals is through their workability and usefulness.

I describe myself as a logical, rational, and reasonable person. I am not ruled by emotions but by facts, observations, and evidence.

But that doesn’t mean that I am devoid of emotions. I am empathetic and have been known to shed a tear or two when I encounter the pain or suffering of others. I may not feel as intensely as some others feel, but I feel nonetheless.

So, as a self-identified practical pragmatist, my perspectives — in my posts on this blog and in my life — are borne out of practicality and pragmatism.

And that works for me.

Previous A to Z Challenge 2019 posts:

Share Your World — Well, Sort Of

This week Melanie, at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, has a special Valentine’s Day edition of Share Your World. She’s calling it “Share Your Heartfelt World,” and, as she said, “This week, instead of gratitude/thankful for question(s), I’m asking romantic, squishy booby hug, possibly sappy and overly sugary QUESTIONS about love.”

Truth be told, I’m not really the romantic, squishy booby hug, sappy, and overly sugary type. I’m more of a practical, pragmatic kind of a guy. Hence, I’m going to opt out of her “heartfelt” questions and stick with her “matter of fact” ones. But if you’re interested in seeing her sappy, Valentine’s Day questions, click HERE.

So with that said….

What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend?

As a retiree, my weekends last seven days. That said, our two grown kids are not retired and both work during the week. So weekends are the opportunity we have to spend some time with them, whether it’s heading to their respective neighborhoods or them coming to visit us.

Who do you admire most in the world?

Hmm. These days I don’t find too many truly admirable people. That said, I think that as a class of people, I’d have to focus on teachers. They are overworked and underpaid and are expected to shape the minds of our most precious possessions, our children. They should be much more admired — and valued — than they are.

 What do you regret not doing?

Not winning the Powerball or Mega Millions lottery.026DE52E-7C07-4F0E-8ED9-46794C3A2D68

If you see a puddle on the ground, do you walk around it or over/in it?

It depends upon what kind of footwear, if any, I have on. If I’m barefoot or wearing rain boots, I’ll definitely step in. Otherwise, I’ll step over or around it.

SoCS — Yet Another Political Rant

For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill asked us to “find a word that uses the suffix “-ic” or “-ical.”

31F97D82-3C9B-43FD-BBFA-5794C6CA74ADI like to consider myself to be a logical, practical, realistic person. I am also a stoic individual, always keeping my basic emotions in check in almost all things, with the possible exception of that which is political.

In fact, since the election of Donald Trump, I have become quite cynical and skeptical. I can even, at times, come across a bit maniacal, as I cannot abide by those hypocritical, spineless Republicans who, along with that orange lunatic in the White House, are engaging in the systematic destruction of our democratic republic. I might otherwise find our current political climate almost comical were it not so tragic.

Some would suggest that I’m being overly dramatic, but I have to be emphatic. My concerns aren’t that drastic. It’s not that I’m about to panic, but I find these times to be somewhat enigmatic. I’m enthusiastic in my support for those who are sympathetic to the efforts to combat the autocratic tendencies of our diabolical president.

We are at a critical time for our country. The situation we find ourselves in is not a hypothetical one. It’s not metaphorical. It’s very real. I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic when I say that we must be highly energetic and we must be heroic. We can’t afford to be apathetic; it’s our apathy that got us here.

I’m actually more of a flight than a fight kind of a guy, but now is not the time to take flight. It’s time to fight. It’s time for patriotic Americans to stand against the radical extremism and nationalistic, bombastic, almost fanatical rhetoric of the far right.

We must act now to save America. November is coming. Vote Democratic.

Okay, I may have gotten a bit carried away in my political rant filled with words ending in “ic” and “ical.” This is really atypical of me, as I’m not generally this caustic. While I try to be more didactic in expressing my opinions, I fear I became somewhat apoplectic in this post. And for that I’m feeling quite apologetic.

But hey, this is Stream of Consciousness Saturday, is it not? One must go with the flow.

FFfAW — Practical Art

img_0521“It’s pure genius,” Phil said. “I took a felled, dead tree and turned it into a work of art that serves practical purpose.”

“Well, it’s interesting,” the director of city parks said. “But I think we were looking for something a bit more, um, traditional.”

“You can’t be serious,” Phil objected. “Thousands of visitors come to this park every year. Don’t you think they’d appreciate ecologically and environmentally responsible park benches carved right out of nature?”

“I appreciate that,” the director said, “But we have to replace several dozen of the existing broken and worn park benches with new ones and we need them fast. How long did it take you to make just this one?”

“An artist can’t be rushed,” Phil responded. “And did you notice how I used the carved out pieces from the bench to make foot rests? Ingenious, right”

“I’m sorry, Phil,” the director said. “I’m going to go with our regular bench supplier. But since your bench is so artistic, I’ll put it behind the museum.”

(172 words)

Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Photo credit: me!