People often think being idealistic is impractical, that it’s either one of the two; idealism or realism. Very few things are that black and white, if any. Why can’t we be idealistic and realistic? Dream big, keep our hopes high and work towards making them a material reality?
Often the biggest hard core ‘realists’ were once in fact idealists. They did hope. They did dream. But when they were laughed at and mocked for their ideas they gave up. They didn’t try, they didn’t work. They accepted people’s words as the truth and joined their ranks; battering and tearing down those who still had the audacity to hope and dream. These new recruits can be an idealist’s biggest obstacle. These people never got the chance to realize their own dreams and seeing yours makes them feel like an even bigger failure. They see you, with ideas for a brighter future and envy your carefreeness. They see their past selves in you and wish they could still have hope in the word too. They point out flaws and setbacks, laugh at your naivety and try to make you be realistic so that they can validate themselves. If you fall off the bandwagon it affirms their belief that yes, there is no hope and they were right to give up.
Hopes and dreams are one thing. Basic human decency is another. We are the product of our experiences. You don’t get a say in the hand destiny deals you, but you do get a say in how you react to it. Our choices are always our own, as are the consequences. Some people who get hurt repeatedly become frustrated. They see the world going about as though nothing had happened, no one caring about their pain and wonder if maybe they’re too emotional. They vow to not let anything get to them and grow cold and insensitive to the pain of other people too.
People who once trusted other people too easily and were betrayed begin abusing other people’s trust reasoning that that is simply how the world works. People who try to live honestly see their corrupt coworkers earning more, getting promoted and getting away with it and wonder why they’re even trying to be honest. Their colleagues come to the office late, waste time and no one says anything to them. They live comfortable lives while you’re putting yourself through hell and for what? No one’s watching, no one says anything, everyone does it. With this reasoning the honest forego their ideals and resign themselves to the status quo.
Now, change frames. Before, it was you who was getting mocked for your ideas, now you’re doing it to the next person. If the person gives up it was because of you. You were the representative of the world to that person. When someone is hurt and you see them going through the same thing you went through once, you have a choice, you can be cold and insensitive, like people were to you, or you can empathize and make sure the person knows they’re not alone. Again, you represent the world.
You betray someone’s trust; you teach them that the world doesn’t hold trust sacred, just like someone once did to you and someone may have done to them. Each person in the chain, changing the world forever through their actions. Same goes for corruption. Each person in that office thought they were making a decision for themselves, that it was normal. The fact is, they normalized it by accepting it; paving the way for all those to come.
There was a nice analogy of the world in a book I read. It went something like: ‘The world is like a cauldron and your actions, thoughts and ideas are the ingredients you get to add.’ –Forty Rules of Love, Elif Shafak.
Your actions and choices are your contributions to the lives of all the people you ever meet, even for a second. People make up the world. The world is made up of people. You are people to people just as they are people to you. Know this. A friendly wave, a smile, genuine concern, every minute small thing you do is how the world looks through someone else’s eyes. Know your power.
Don’t lose complete faith in the world, it’s the equivalent of losing faith in yourself. Use your struggles as fuel for hope; if you can stay a dreamer, emotional, trusting and honest, so can other people.
Have faith in yourself.
You are the world.
Is it so bad to live in a fantasy world? What even is reality? What if you just took some facts from the ‘real’ world and molded them into you’re fantasy? Plausible deniability.
Ok wait what even is reality? I mean we hardly ever have all the hard facts anyway. We have a few and we deduce the rest. Is it reality when you’re deductions are cynical and a fantasy when you dream for beautiful things. Other people will say so. They’ll say you’re lining yourself up for disappointment, sure that may be possible, but what you think will happen isn’t going to affect what will happen. So at least the moment till the truth hits is magical. Whereas for the realists it’s bleak. The end will be the same. (Though Noetic Science suggests our thoughts affect the outcome, just saying) What if the end was great? You didn’t waste your time and mood in worry. If it didn’t work out, well for a moment you thought it would, you had hope. Worry cripples you, hope paints a picture that adds a skip to your step. Life’s too short to spend all that time worrying and anticipating the worst.
I’ve been depressed for so long I got sick of it. I choose my fantasy. The world where I will travel across the globe. The world where I can start an orphanage and school. The world where I can be a book author. The world where the little things don’t bug me so much. The world where I can make a difference. The world where adventures are real not just in books. The world where anything is possible.
I’m a very nostalgic person. Someone who looks back and wishes she had more time. Sometimes impatient with the present while comparing it to the past. But as I mentioned in a previous post I found a little idea on how not to let it bother me so much. It goes along the lines of,’ at least it happened’. You know, at least I have those memories to cherish, what if I never had them? I wouldn’t trade them. You can draw strength from the good times to get through the bad.
Isn’t it amazing how you had such a good time in the past you can’t stand the present? It’s a credit to your past. And come on, you can’t have it good all the way through life. Through the present, let the past power the light in your eyes and the brightness of your smile.
Spread the love. Keep yourself happy. Brighten up other people’s world with your optimism too. Happiness is a state of mind you make for yourself. If you want to be sad you’ll find a thousand reasons, if you want to be happy you’ll find a thousand reasons. Depends what you’re looking for.
Reality usually has loopholes.
I have a pretty bleak outlook on life sometimes. You might know it; it’s the one where you don’t really see the point in anything because you’re just like ‘ we’re all going to die anyway’. Or you can’t enjoy anything because it’s all so predictable. There’s the other outlook as well, where all you can think of is what might have been, how much you miss your friends, the old carefree times, how you’re not where you wanted to be in life, doubting your dreams etc.
Yeap, I go down that lane often. Too often. But today I had a thought. I miss my granddad, I miss my friends, but what if I’d never had those moments with them? The memories I cling to and cherish? Where would I be without them? WHO would I be without them? Looking back on those moments I shouldn’t fall on my knees in misery, I shouldn’t hug pillows to my chest and try to cover the gaping hole in my heart. I should remember and be grateful that fate had smiled on me so warmly. That I had had such a great granddad, that I had been so fortunate as to have had such awesome friends.
Looking back, take a deep breath and feel the euphoria. All those memories, all those people, they are with you. No one can take those times away from you. When you think that life is predictable, wake up and smell the sweet summer air because life is anything but predictable. That’s the beauty of it. No matter how sure you are, you’re wrong.
Yes, yes we’re all going to die, but does that mean we can’t have some fun before we go? That we can’t enjoy these things called emotions, that if allowed, can wreak havoc on our minds in the most beautiful of ways? Don’t buffer the love inside you, let other people feel it too. Don’t let the hate and jealousy fester inside of you, reason with it. It’s one thing to be realistic, it’s another to know the cold hard facts, and to play with them.
Be grateful for what you had, never lose hope that there won’t be more. If the current circumstances aren’t working for you, it’s OK to indulge in your memories of better times, it’s not living in the past, it’s finding a way to get through the present.