In almost every encouraging or appreciative note my sister has every written to me, she has always said how much she admires my intolerance for the unethical and my vigor to speak out for what is right and good. Being in high school and college, it's so easy to do that (when she we were closer in proximity). High school is the time for teenage rebellion in every context - the immature lashings-out that take place are mostly understood and socially accepted as part of the teenage phase. Talking back and speaking up for your fairly under-processed ideas is seen as just what being a teenager is all about.
College is the perfect atmosphere to question everything. That's the point of a 4 year degree: to teach how to question the efficiency and effectiveness of all aspects of life and to teach the problem solving techniques it takes to reach idealism. Professors are there to make you think, to make you be introspective and to figure out the way the world currently works and how it should be altered. We were taught ideals and to follow those ideals.
But when you get to the real world, to the working world, these ideals aren't quite so welcomed. There is structure and bureaucracy that mandates every organization. Being an adult and speaking out for what you believe within a pre-established form isn't quite as understood and accepted as it was in the about 8 years prior.
So, how do young people these days work within this system when the 8 years in preparation have been teaching them to think outside of the box, to push the envelope, to be creative in approaching "protocols" and organizational structure. How, then, do we uphold those ideals that have started to dictate our character and our approach to the world? Do we lower our standards and work inside the system, never challenging it or questioning? Do we maintain our job security so that we can pay the bills and be comfortable or do we sacrifice our own comfort in pursuit of those ideals?
It becomes survival of the most ideal. I don't know if I'll make it and I wonder if my sister wrote a note these days, if it would be true.