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Word of the Week: Ideals

Georgia Military College Prep School
Word of the Week: Ideals
Week of November 1 – 6, 2015

Definition: A conception of something in its absolute perfection.

Quotable Quotes:
"The ideal attitude is to be physically loose and mentally tight." –Arthur Ashe

“It is high time that the ideal of success should be replaced by the ideal of service.”
– Albert Einstein

“Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination” – Immanuel Kant

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.” - James Allen

“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” - Earl Nightingale

Let’s Get to the Point:
What are your ideals?  What do you hold true? Is it some of Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues?  Is it Duty, Honor, or Country?  Is it the golden rule of doing unto others that you would  have done unto you?  Is it Matthew 25?  Or is it something you picked up over time?  If  an ideal is an absolute perfection, then we should hold our ideals higher than most things  in our lives.  It is quite an honor to be recognized for one’s ideals.  It could be something  as easy as always being on time to treating others with respect to being honest to each  and every person we encounter.
       
Putting Words into Action:
Do you have to advertise your ideals, or do others see them in you?  When you say you are a hard worker, are you?  If you are dependable or trustworthy, are you or is it just lip service to those around you?  This country was built on the ideals of our forefathers who were willing to do whatever it took become a nation.  They worked tirelessly to set the foundation of a country that has struggled through thick and thin to keep the American Dream alive.
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Think About It:
The Boy Scout Law is a great list of ideals to live by.  At every Scout meeting the scouts repeat it by saying “A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.  These twelve virtues help aspire young Boy Scouts to do their best in all that they do.  Ideals are things we hold to when there is nothing else left.  Even in trying times, sticking to your ideals will help you deal with whatever situation you may face.  

Reflection:

Ralph Bunche once said, “Hearts are strongest when they beat in response to noble ideals.” The Roman Empire was led by a united people with conviction in strong ideals such as loyalty, duty, and respect. The American Revolution united a group of men and women who decided to stand up for their ideals. History has showed us on multiple occasions that Mr. Bunche is correct. So where does that leave us today?

When your children ask you what the right thing to do is, or why certain things are the way they are is based on the ideals of the individual. That’s the beauty of America, multiple people with multiple ideals. But, when we as a nation spend more time arguing over whose ideals are right, and whose ideals are wrong we are failing to show our true colors. The famous imagination creator Walt Disney said, “Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.” So ask yourself, are my ideals moral?

When you lay your head down to sleep at night do you think about why you lied to your employees, or decided to push your work onto someone else? I challenge everyone to question their ideals. Do not be afraid to let go of some old ideals but at the same time do not be timid to take in many new ideals you once never saw possible. It is by communicating with the people around you all of your ideals and beliefs that we as a people will become more at peace with others and with ourselves.

C/1st LT Trip Williams is a student at Georgia Military College Prep School