Shortsighted Idealism Has a Name—Quixotism
Quixotism is impracticality in pursuit of ideals, especially those ideals manifested by rash, lofty and romantic ideas or extravagantly chivalrous action. It also serves to describe an idealism without regard to practicality.
The term comes from the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, in which the protagonist, Don Quixote, is a deluded old man who believes himself to be a knight-errant on a quest to right wrongs and defend the innocent. He is often idealistic and impractical, and his adventures often lead to him getting into trouble.
Quixotism can be seen as both a positive and a negative quality. On the one hand, it can be admirable to have such a strong sense of idealism and to be willing to fight for what you believe in, even if it means making sacrifices. On the other hand, quixotism can also lead to foolishness and recklessness, as Don Quixote often demonstrates.
Here are some examples of quixotism:
- A person who spends their entire life savings trying to develop a cure for cancer, even though it is unlikely that they will be successful.
- A politician who gives up a lucrative career to run for office, even though they have little chance of winning.
- A protestor who chains themselves to a tree to prevent it from being cut down, even though they know that they will be arrested.
Quixotism can be seen in many different areas of life, from politics and social activism to art and literature. It is often a source of both humor and inspiration.
Whether quixotism is a good or bad thing depends on the situation. In some cases, it can lead to positive change, while in other cases, it can be simply a waste of time and effort. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether or not they want to be a quixote.