Ideals and Reality

Ideals can be, but not always, and always should be.

Our entry into this world brings with it the curse of naivete. We grow up absorbing ideals only to be disappointed and discouraged later on in life, and in a sad twist of fate, discard them altogether in disillusionment. When we were young we wanted to be the best, the most beautiful, the perfect, the admired, et cetera; but the ugliness of the world catches up with our bliss and we retreat with our tails between our legs.

However, ideals continue to be possible in this world. Even with the world’s imperfections, its violence and its evil, the ideals that keep us hoping and striving remain possible. No amount of failure can remove the potential for greatness in each human person. Only those who hold on to their ideals as principles of living achieve them in the end.

For the perfectionists this can be frustrating. If we focus too much on the brilliance of our ideals but turn a blind eye on reality, we may forget that this world has its own limits. No matter how great the ideals we hold on to, the world will not transform into our dreams with a snap of the finger.

Humans are not machines ready to be programmed for greatness. We are organic. We are like plants. We learn according to our capacities and our capacity to learn varies. There should always be room for growth. When we cannot appreciate the beauty of slow silent growth we run the risk of hurting ourselves in rushing, of being insensitive to what is. Ideals are not always. The ideal for ideals is to be wise in recognizing the limits of our reality and to allow concessions and give space for growth.

Yes, this means ideals may not be reached in our lifetimes. The quest for ideals may take a beating, take the long cut, and take forever to realize. This doesn’t mean however that we give up. There remains the invitation to strive for what is ideal because we were made for those ideals. It is an expression of hope that who we are now is meant for something greater and that greatness is already part of us.

Ideals are possible, so let us dream big. Ideals do not always realize, so be wise in realizing dreams. Ideals remind you of what you were made to be, so begin to live the dream.

Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact uhere.

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