“Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth…there is no spoon. Then you will see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.” -Spoon Boy, The Matrix
We are not trying to solve the problems of the world. We are tinkering, patching, diverting, ignoring. We have built social systems that create social problems and keep them in place. We are not looking for solutions.
What if we were?
I am an idealist. I see the world through a lens of what is possible. I do not care what is most likely or what has the most public support. When it comes to searching for actual solutions to a problem, the only things that matter are facts and truths.
Truth exists. Solutions exist. The ideal (that is the best possible solution for the most possible people) exists. The ideal is entirely possible. Likely? Maybe not, and my idealist side doesn’t care.
At the same time, I am a realist. I do not refuse to look at the world as it is. I find the real world impossible to ignore. I live in it, after all. I recognize the “real.” There are facts, statistics, and examples throughout the world that tell us the story of what actually is. I am in a constant search for these realities.
I also recognize that not everyone is conducting the same search. We coexist alongside facts with our feelings, emotions, and intuition, which unfortunately win in the battle for solutions far too often.
I see myself as a realist idealist. I know that out there, somewhere, there are solutions to the challenges we face in the world. I suspect that at our core, we human beings want to survive and thrive, not only as individuals but also as a group. I think that given the choice in ideal circumstances, we would want to look out for one another.
Yet, I see the world we have created. Though we may have solved problems, we have walked away from solutions time and time again. We are often illogical, afraid, emotional, and greedy. We have an amazing ability to epically screw things up. We operate within constraints we build.
In this worldview of mine there is a window through which I attempt to see what could be. I see government-sponsored programs that work. I see innovative approaches to solving the most wicked problems we encounter.
I see logic and reason driving our decisions. I see money well spent. I see people genuinely caring for each other because we have the time to do it and we no longer fear one another. I see these as real possibilities.
In all eras, we have choices. We can choose to turn away from one another, or even against each other. We can also choose to turn toward one another. The collection of thoughts at The Realist Idealist is my effort to examine what we are choosing to do now, what has led to these choices, and what other options lie before us.
My explorations will span all levels of our human existence. Some will hit closer to home on a deeply personal level. Others will attempt to coax us away from ourselves to examine our collective actions.
All of them will attempt to rip us out of the box that keeps us all in safe, familiar territory. That place where new ideas fail to flourish, and where we fail to see the true nature of the challenges before us.
I am not interested in fixing, tweaking, or adjusting. I am interested in fundamental change that moves us past our social problems.
I assure you I intend to strike a hopeful tone with this work. I want to send you away with a burning desire to fulfill that which you find lacking in the world, and transform that which you know requires change. I hope you will come along with me on this journey and bring others with you. Together, we can change our entire story.