When Ideas and Reality Don’t Meet

I want to be an idealist. Really I do. I want things to work out for the best. I want to see things changed and created in the best ways possible. And I want this to be true in every arena from family life, to work, to schools, to churches, to friendships, to government.

But I always run into a problem. My ideas of how things could and should work don’t match what happens in reality. And this is frustrating to me.

I’m not saying that my ideas are always right and should always be implemented in just the way I envision them, because that isn’t necessarily true, but sometimes I get discouraged with the lack of opportunity to be heard, or even the lack of creative thinking required by a hearer to hear what I am saying.

I know I get stuck in ruts and it is hard to think in different ways, so it is likely that way for most everyone. But just because it is hard, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Just because it requires some extra effort doesn’t mean the process of examining the idea wouldn’t be beneficial.

And when an idealist hits up against reality one to many times, it is easy for them to become disengaged and disheartened at what they see happening around them. It can make an idealist not want to vote in elections anymore because what they think doesn’t matter anyway. It can make them not speak up in meetings anymore where their ideas are never examined. It can stop the outward flow of ideas from happening in the first place.

But we can’t let that happen. Do you think that Martin Luther King, Jr. was the first man with the ideas of equal rights for all? I am sure he wasn’t. Someone else had those same ideas and they got nowhere. The truth is, it just takes sharing your ideas with people who listen and who take those ideas on as something important and necessary. It takes idealists voicing their dreams for anything to change.

We can’t just sit back and say, “it is what it is” and stop thinking and dreaming about what we want life (church, family, government, etc.) to look like. We have to keep dreaming and sharing our ideas if we want to see any difference in our reality. We have to keep believing that change is possible, even if it is hard.

Every idea we have may not bring about change. But one might. Keep dreaming, you idealists!

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