Idealistic to a Fault

My favorite band, Bamboo (now disbanded), once sang:

War of hearts and minds

Who will pay the price?

Does anybody care?

For me, the war of hearts and minds is simply the war between being too idealistic (heart) and being too pragmatic (mind). Most likely, people will choose to be practical and realistic. After all, what is ideal in: a corrupt system of governance; a former president having amazingly timely surgeries; a business setting where profit maximization is king; and a world having degenerating morals?

Nowadays, believing too much in the goodness of man can lead to one’s demise. Gulangan mo na bago pa ikaw ang gulangan. It’s as if we live in a jungle world. The strongest survive while the weakest perish. No sane man would be idealistic in this jungle world.

But is it really insane to believe that Noynoy, who others dub as incompetent, can cleanse this corrupt system of governance? Is it insane to believe that the corrupt will be punished and justice will be a dish tastily served? Is it insane to believe that business can have a social aspect which can address the society’s most pressing problems? Finally, is it insane to believe that man only cares for his own gain and not of his fellow?

The pragmatic in me chooses to believe that the world is an unfair bitch and it’s either you live the law of the jungle or perish. The idealist in me chooses to believe that the world is a utopia-in-progress.

…Call me insane, but I choose to be idealistic in this jungle times. It can’t be helped that more people choose to be more practical and just accept the fact that society’s values have degenerated. But I believe that there are too many pragmatic thinkers in this world – too many perhaps that there is no room for radical change.

But isn’t it time to awaken the idealists in us and pay the price of going against the norm? Against the vicious traditions, the cycle of history’s worst? If man was able to create this Frankenstein of a monstrous system, then man IS capable to change the system! As a utopia-in-progress, the world is constantly doing trial-and-error until it finds the perfect formula for having a utopia. But we need faith in our ideals. We need faith that change is possible. We need faith that utopia is possible; and even if it’s not, then at least we can find a state of society nearest to it.

Pragmatic thinking will tell us that faith is just an opium, a form of false hope in this seemingly dire situation. Pragmatic thinking may tell us that faith in ideals can’t give the poor money, nor it can change society’s rotten ways.

But idealistic thinking tells otherwise: faith in ideal visions is not an opium, but a driving motivator in finding creative solutions in our problems. Idealistic thinking tells us that faith in ideals can give the poor money and it can change society’s rotten ways.

There will always be a creative solution; just as it is in a Sudoku puzzle wherein no square is compromised.

There will be a leader who will cleanse the system of its rottenness.

There will be justice served against those who have abused us way too long.

There will be businesses capable of addressing society’s gravest problems.

It hurts to be idealistic because all of the ideas will be put to the test especially when we are at a point in time that we are absolutely far from getting perfection. But if a Sudoku puzzle can manage to not compromise a single box or area, why can’t life do the same?

Pardon me for being too idealistic to a fault, but I believe in hope. Even if I will not experience utopia in my lifetime, I want to at least start the journey towards a grand destination. I don’t know how many lifetimes will be enough, but I’ll be smiling in heaven while my great, great, great, great… great grandchild (haha) cherishes the utopia that was once an idea, but became a wonderful reality in his lifetime.

7 replies
  1. Sophie
    Sophie says:

    Just do so ^^ One day we’ll be looking at our writings and smile at our thoughts of yesteryears XD. I take a more private route, I only write about my thoughts on my journal nowdays :))

  2. Marvin
    Marvin says:

    well, the world exists in dualities. we need both idealism and pragmatism. both have to co-exist in this world and not at the expense of each other. thumbs up! it was an insightful read, patch!

  3. Patch Aure
    Patch Aure says:

    haha i agree on the duality! but my thoughts revolve around too many people letting practical ideas reign. anyway, i’m glad that it inspires thoughts in you sir hehe. salamat sa oras para makapagbasa! 😀

  4. Patch Aure
    Patch Aure says:

    whatever works for us! oo nga eh, haha ako talaga namimiss ko nang magsulat. high school days laging sanctuary ko ‘to. it’s very effective lalo na as a stress reliever!

  5. Neslie
    Neslie says:

    Hi, Patch 🙂 This is quite a delayed reaction, but here it is anyway: I find this reflection to be very… “you”. I guess at some point idealism is too expensive an attitude/stance for some? I do hope though that you’ll never tire of hoping for the best. There is much comfort (as there’s frustration?) in being able to dream… and dream big. But at the same time, also try to stay grounded with some degree of pragmatism so as not to fly too high up that you can no longer connect with reality. It’s truly nice to read your works again 🙂 In fact, most of my students now benefit from your old works. Oops, I did ask for your permission to use your works as model essays for my classes, right? I’m asking now 🙂 You cannot say no! haha


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