Idealist vs Realist – Which Is Best For Kindness?

Is it better to be an idealist vs a realist?

Time and time again, this age-old debate resurfaces among a group of friends, possibly during a night out for cocktails when someone shares his current career or relationship problems.

Surely at least one friend will emerge as the former and another will appear to be the latter. But sometimes a few of you will be confused as to how you have decided to look at life so far.

As a businesswoman, I have long ago come to terms with the fact that I need to be both, in order to deal with the life path I have chosen for myself.

Another path that necessitates the destruction of the either/or mentality when it comes to being an idealist vs realist is learning compassion.

To live a fruitful life of being kind to others and sharing your life with them, one must learn to be both.

I know seems like a contradiction. But first, let’s inspect what those terms generally mean to people.

Idealist vs Realist: Definitions

Here’s the definition of an Idealist in the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

The second definition of idealist applies to a person with a certain perspective or way of life.

Defined as “one guided by ideals” or “one that places ideals before practical considerations,” people who live by idealism probably aim to see things in a perfect light.

Often also dubbed as dreamers, visionaries and positive thinkers, idealists value noble principles and set high goals for themselves.

This often means that they tend towards optimism.

However, there’s also a misconception that idealists are naive, innocent, and wishful thinkers.

That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.

They only hope for a better future and live life according to that hope, which means that the big picture is very important to them.

However, by focusing on the big picture, they sometimes get ahead of themselves and forget to consider other important factors in a given situation. 

Now let’s contrast these traits with how a realistic person is described.

Here’s the definition of a Realist by Merriam-Webster:

While idealists focus on “what could be,” realists tend to look at “what actually is.”

They like to adopt a practical or pragmatic view of circumstances, which leads them to make safe and rational choices.

Sometimes, they tend towards cynicism or pessimism, but again, that’s not necessarily the case.

They just like to process particular aspects of a certain situation and carefully scrutinize the truth.

Instead of looking at the big picture of a better future, realists tend to break it down into components and set smaller, more achievable goals.

Sometimes, this tendency hinders them from taking risks and makes them settle with what they’re immediately given.

By focusing on the present, they may sometimes miss out on big possibilities.

In Creating A Kinder World, Which Mindset Is Better?

Now you may notice that both mindsets actually seem to need each other.

The debate for whether you’re an idealist or realist seems futile when you see the holes in either perspective.

For instance, an idealist may have high hopes towards a huge goal, but he is not equipped with enough focus to actually lay out steps on how to achieve that.

Meanwhile, a realist may have the analytic skills, but he doesn’t have any purpose so those skills just end up as unused potential.

When we stop thinking of whether we’re an idealist or realist and instead shift the conversation to how we should be the best of both, we start seeing that there’s so much more we can do.

An idealist perhaps wants to change the world and make a brighter future for everyone, a vision that is very helpful in our times, but nevertheless just a vision.

A realist can introduce practical ways on how to make that vision happen and sustain it, turning an idealistic hope into purposeful action.

To create a kinder, better world, you need to be both an idealist and a realist.

BeepBeep Nation: Kindness Pays

The BeepBeep Nation app encourages the idealist and the realist in everyone by enabling its users to regularly do kind acts and eventually invest deeper in a broader culture of kindness.

It provides a platform to connect people who need help and others who can provide that help, fostering new and healthy relationships or networks.

As such, not only does it promote an attitude and culture of helping each other out, it also makes way for a whole new level of face-to-face human interaction.

Aiming to build trust among individuals, BeepBeep Nation convinces the idealist in you that a brighter future or a better world is possible, and it urges the realist in you to start acting on that picture.

Now you no longer have to choose between being an idealist or realist; BeepBeep Nation offers some truly exciting ways to develop a healthy mindset that embraces both.

The BeepBeep Nation app is in its final stages of development. To be one of our supporters and be a part of our vision to make the world a better, kinder place, simply click here and let us know.

Dare to Care: Why Helping Out is an Act of Bravery

In this world, those who dare to care are the brave.

It takes no effort to be comfortable in our own homes, binge-watching TV shows while munching on popcorn, cozy in our jammies and unbothered about the rest of humanity.

But it takes a bit of courage to open our eyes and see those who need us.

This is the case whether they are people on the other side of the world or people who belong to our own communities.

It takes stepping up to be aware of our selfish conveniences and realize that there’s someone out there seeking help, with no one to help him or her.

Just the initiative to feel for others is an act of bravery.

Dare To Care: Love Everybody

Now more than ever, the Internet has given us access to an infinite number of stories.

Some say humans have never witnessed so much tragedy before; of course, these atrocities have always been happening and suffering has always been a constant in this world.

Generations before us had to endure so much pain as well. But they never had the same access to the lives of others.

Now, with just one click, you are able to read about everything horrible that is going on in the world. And as humans, we are not built to carry so much heartache.

Empathy is painful.

Neurologically speaking, the pain you feel for yourself and the pain you feel for others seem to activate the same processes in the brain.

This must be why it’s so easy to ignore the pain of others: it gives us the same pain, but it’s a pain we can avoid.

After all, it’s not really our lives at stake.

To be empathetic is to subject ourselves to hurting.

This is precisely why it is an act of bravery to see the pain of others.

And what better way to express this courage than to actually do something about it?

Not only are you being aware of another’s suffering, you are going out of your way to help alleviate it.

To disregard one’s comfort in life is a very difficult task, but sometimes, helping others doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning yourself.

Sometimes, there are ways to take the initiative without severely hurting yourself and challenging your pain tolerance. Sometimes, a simple act of bravery every now and then should suffice.

The BeepBeep Nation app has a mission of making the world a better place by encouraging people to be a little courageous every now and then.

By providing a platform to connect people who need help and people who can offer help, it enables its users to do an act of bravery and improve their sense of compassion, with only a bit of effort.

BeepBeep Nation motivates its users to reach out to other individuals in various ways: by simply offering a ride to work or a place to stay, by simply answering questions in an accurate manner, by simply offering an extra hand during a medical emergency, and many others.

Reaching out in little ways seems convenient, right?

But like I said, a simple act of bravery at particular moments should be enough.

Because a simple act of bravery through the BeepBeep Nation app can nurture a culture of compassion like never before.

It can start a revolution of people being kind to each other and paying it forward (perhaps endlessly).

So dare yourself to be brave and use that courage to care for others.

If you want to join BeepBeep Nation’s mission of motivating everyone to be kind, helpful, and brave, become a BeepBeep Nation here and make a difference.

So dare to care, and dare to see this for yourself: a world of kindness.

Get Your Dare To Care Mug Now:

Read more on kindness:

Why Be Kind To One Another: Kindness Pays
The Art Of Happiness And Being Kind

Cultivating Kindness in the Next Generation

Cultivating kindness in the next generation should be done as everybody needs a shot of good news everyday.

As for me, my dosage of inspiration usually comes from stories involving children who do fantastic, exceptionally kind things for other people, or other people who do fantastic, exceptionally kind things for children.

In this blog, it’s no secret that I am partial to featuring the little people of the next generation who’ve shown some really impressive abilities, such as a great deal of empathy.

Some children first understand the need to help others because of their own plight.

For instance, a deaf boy started his own fundraising initiative to provide hearing aids for his fellow deaf children.

Others are inspired by their loved ones, like the high schooler who invented an AI system to diagnose her grandfather’s eye disease.

It goes to show that at an early age, children already have a deep enough understanding of love and already think of the welfare of those around them.

But it doesn’t stop there either.

Some children can even empathize with those who live way beyond their backyards and come from backgrounds way different from theirs. 

At times of disasters, for instance, children show that they feel so much for people that are suffering, as exemplified by an 8-year-old who collected over a thousand toys that he eventually gave away to Puerto Rican kids after the terrible hurricane.

Unfortunately, some adults aren’t even able to have this kind of empathy, but some kids definitely do.

Meanwhile, some preschoolers just want to have fun and eventually end up helping others out, like this prodigious 5-year-old who sells her own astounding galaxy paintings and donates the proceeds to a charity.

But what do these stories of the next generation mean for us who come before them?

Should we feel bad and envious that they are already doing so much more? Should our generation take credit for raising such beautiful children?

No, though perhaps possible, none of those seems right.

Some groups of people have already figured out what to do and what their role is.

Educational institutions in New York have been trying to address the problem of inequality by providing free lunches to kids of lower status, while libraries in Los Angeles have waived book rental fees for readers under the age of 21.

A Massachusetts startup is making life better for kids with autism by providing smart glasses that can help them track emotion and improve their social skills.

Disney itself committed 100 million dollars to children’s hospitals.

That’s right. What we need to do for the next generation is show them that they can become the best versions of themselves, because this world is going to be kind to them.

And we have to make sure that it happens.

We absolutely have to make this world a better place for the people who will succeed us, so that they may continue on the good work.

Not all of us can donate millions of dollars or invent something incredibly beneficial.

But there are things we can do, like volunteer our time and skills to organizations dedicated to the welfare of children, mentor kids in our community who show interest in the fields we know about, support and participate in school and after-school programs, and many others.

Sometimes, even showing compassion to tiny members of the family like our own children or nephews and nieces might already be enough.

In the end, it’s all about the culture of kindness that we cultivate for them, so that when the time comes for them to take charge of the world, they can take things further and make it an even better place.

We have to inculcate kindness in them, so that they can pay it forward and be even kinder to others.

Cultivating Kindness With BeepBeep Nation

No doubt, cultivating kindness in the next generation means that we ourselves have to be kind to each other. As they say, lead by example.

One such app with the same mission is BeepBeep Nation. It aims to make the world a better place by connecting people who need help and others who can offer it.

Providing a plethora of opportunities to give back and help out, it enables people to exercise compassion the way they want to.

Ultimately, BeepBeep Nation encourages people to share their lives with one another and believe in a future built on kindness.

This is exactly the kind of mindset that our children should learn as they are growing up.

It’s never too early for children to find the heart to help out, and it’s never too late for us to encourage them to do so.

Volunteer Benefits – The Science

There are many benefits for volunteers. Here's the science behind compassion.

A volunteer benefits from doing their share in alleviating the suffering of their fellow human beings.

We frequently showcase this kind of stories — of people with exemplary acts of devotion and compassion or even people who do random little acts of kindness in their everyday lives.

Some people who enjoy helping out tend to do so for religious or spiritual reasons.

And whether it’s Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, or others, the religions of the world do have discourses of compassion.

Though I myself have always been curious about a different but equally important aspect of this human tendency: is there a science behind this?

volunteer benefits from psychologically and physiologically when doing good deeds.

I’m glad to report: yep, there is.

A study done by experimental social psychologists tested how the experience of compassion affected people’s behavior.

First, participants were told that they were supposedly part of an experiment about mathematical ability and taste perception.

Ostensibly, these were the instructions: participants were supposed to solve as much as they can of 20 math problems, in which they would receive 50 cents for each problem they solved correctly.

After being checked and getting paid, they would proceed to the taste perception phase. Here, participants were asked to prepare taste samples for each other by pouring extra-hot hot sauce.

It seems absurd, but here’s the catch.

The experimenters hired confederates to pretend to be fake participants.

Let’s call the first one Dan and the second Hannah. In one version of the experiment, Dan was asked to cheat badly and very obviously on the math problems, so that the real participants would see.

Afterwards, in the taste perception phase, the experimenters noticed that the real participants poured bigger servings of hot sauce to Dan the Cheater.

But doesn’t this show revenge instead of compassion?

experiment to see the effects of compassion on volunteers.

Well, in another version, Dan the Cheater was asked to do the same thing but now Hannah was gonna play a role.

Before the taste perception phase, Hannah would cry and the experimenters would ask why.

She’d say she recently found out about her brother’s terminal illness. Increasingly emotional, Hannah asked to be excused from the experiment.

In this version, even though the participants still witnessed Dan cheating, they did not pour bigger amounts of hot sauce in the taste perception phase.

What does this show?

First, the compassion that the participants felt predicted how much hot sauce they were going to give to another person.

And second, more importantly, the compassion that people feel towards one person can predict how they will act towards others.

This experiment is only one of many studies that are now delving into the idea and reality of compassion.

Recently, a conference has even been held to discuss it, joined by representatives from different fields such as evolutionary psychologists, clinical psychologists who deal with children suffering from trauma, charity owners who conduct social and emotional skills workshops for the youth, and others.

brain scans to determine the different states in the brain that correspond to compassion.

Using brain scans, one doctor even explained how different parts of the brain are activated when people are in a “compassionate state” or “non-compassionate state.”

So interestingly enough, compassion actually seems to have physiological, neurological effects.

A volunteer benefits both his body and mind.

But now here’s the thing. My personal epiphany, if you will.

We can participate in all these discussions, conduct our own experiments if we’re in the field, compile all these data, but maybe it’ll be a bit more exciting to see for ourselves.

There’s all this science about compassion, we know that. But somehow I think the reality of compassion can’t be proven by numbers.

Tall order but maybe here’s what we can do: go out there, help people out, and prove it for ourselves.

Help people out and reap the benefits as a volunteer.

If you are interested in reading more scientific information about kindness or compassion, here’s a list of various quantitative and qualitative studies about the topic.

Then again, if you are more keen to join the action, check out the upcoming BeepBeep Nation app. You might be surprised at the many ways you’ll see how compassion exists.