I love the way Antonio Dias puts this:
it just struck me that the most realistic judgement of our selves would have to be a profound sensibility of our vulnerability. As soft-bodied creatures inhabiting a sharp-edged world we are physically vulnerable to all those “mortal shocks that plague” us. As emotional/mental creatures we pit a little over a thousand cc’s of gelatinous mass backed up by a plumbing of glands and their interacting secretions against a world of pain confusion and potential despair. We are vulnerable. To know this, and to abide it, must be the most “realistic” attitude we could take.
So often, I find the demand for “realism” comes packaged with some implicit harshness. Antonio, on the other hand, suggests kindness might be more appropriate. I think I agree.