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:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

One-Liner Wednesday — Happily Ever After

5C992C14-C039-41C5-A1E8-9027E2683E74“There was never a ‘once upon a time’ and there will never be a ‘happily ever after.’”

Jon Meacham,
Presidential historian and author

Last time I checked, I was living in the real world and not inside a fairytale. That said, I do believe that we’ve each had our own personal “once upon a time” experience. It’s something in our lives that caused us to go through a metamorphosis from who we were once upon a time to who we’ve become today.

For example, once upon a time I was 6 feet 1 inch tall. Now I’m only 5 feet 11 and 1/2 inches tall.

On the other hand, when it comes to “happily ever after,” I have to go with Jon Meacham. That really is fairytale fodder.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t be living a relatively content, even a happy, life. But happily ever after? Come on, really? Shit happens, people. Real life has its ups and downs, its highs and lows. And just how long is “ever after”?

You may think I’m jaded or cynical. But I’m simply a realist, a pragmatist. Can you honestly say that you believe in “happily ever after”?

If so, let me introduce you to one Donald J. Trump. That should bring you back to reality real fast.


Written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.

Practical Pragmatist

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I am a pragmatist. And I think of myself as a practical person. Thus, I am a practical pragmatist.

So what is a pragmatist? A pragmatist is a person who is oriented toward the success or failure of a particular line of action, thought, etc.

A pragmatist is an advocate or adherent of pragmatism, which is the philosophy or conduct that emphasizes practicality.

Philosophical Pragmatism

The pragmatic philosophy is based on the belief that the best way to evaluate the practicality of ideas, policies, and proposals is through their workability and usefulness. Pragmatism stresses action over doctrine. The philosophy embraces the notion that ideas base their meanings from their consequences; that they are essentially instruments and plans of action.

So how do I know that I’m a pragmatist? When I was a young adult working a full-time job and attending graduate school at night to get a Master’s degree, the girl I was dating at the time lambasted me for putting more emphasis on “dollars and degrees” than on my relationship with her. I wasn’t, she bemoaned, giving her as much time and attention as I was giving my job and my school work. She didn’t like being the third priority in my life, yet she was.

I knew I needed to work hard at my job in order to pay for rent, food, school, and, well, life. I knew that getting a graduate degree would enable me to be more successful and secure in the future. I knew these things because I’m a pragmatist.

So what about “practical”? I describe myself as a logical, rational, and reasonable person. I am not ruled by emotions but by facts, observations, and evidence. That’s likely why, in addition to being a pragmatist, I’m an atheist. There is nothing logical, rational, or reasonable about religious doctrine or dogma. Rather than being based upon facts, observations, and evidence, religion is based upon faith and beliefs where there is no empirical evidence.

This is not to say that I can’t be open to beliefs or faith, either. Every time I board an airplane I have faith that the aircraft is mechanically sound and that the pilot and copilot are sober and competent. I just don’t buy into this whole God thing because there is no empirical evidence that such an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, supernatural being exists other than in the minds of those who have embraced ancient mythologies over logic, rationality, and reason.

Nor does my pragmatism 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 others feel, but I feel nonetheless.

So bear in mind as you read my posts, should you decide to read beyond this first one, that, as a self-identified practical pragmatist, my perspectives are borne out of practicality and pragmatism.

And that works for me.