13 July 2009

idealism in the modern world

Idealism is a philosophical concept of perception that shows the world as it should be. Most great art centers on the theory of idealism where the human spirit exists in an exalted status. Art has always expressed the various ways in which idealism clashes with reality and tries to bridge the chasms. Is idealism merely an artistic concept or can it exist side-by-side in the real world?

The modern world is rife with less than ideal situations. Today some of the biggest threats to our existence are the results of our own making. Poverty is present even in the so-called ‘developed’ nations, war and crimes against humanity are still rife in many parts of the world – all of this belies the progression of civilization. In an ‘ideal’ world these problems would not exist and humanity would live in harmony with its natural surroundings. This ideal is an Utopian dream, yet it is what we strive for.

There is the argument that war, poverty, natural disaster, disease etc exist for a reason – to maintain a balance. However in a world that has plenty of resources, an imbalanced distribution of wealth is certainly not justified. War is solely a man-made invention of seeking more power at the cost of the power-less. With global warming and climate change, natural disasters are on an unnatural rise as we are in essence changing the delicate balance upon which life on earth exists. In reality, we are no where close to reaching our idealistic dream and yet we keep trying. Without the added challenges, the human spirit would cease to exist. It is our folly as a collective conscience that we keep trying because we know there is a better way to be. We just do not know how to get there.

Is the gap between idealism and reality as wide as it seems? The question is out there for answering, examining and analyzing. Maybe it is one of those questions to which we will never have an adequate answer. All atrocities and sadness known to man also exist alongside with happiness and peace. The contrast is as vivid as night and day and the only way to bridge that gap is through kindness and understanding. The ‘back to basics’ approach to living in the fundamental key-stone of idealism and very few are able to incorporate that into realistic existence.

Idealism has always been a central concept of human existence propagated mainly through art. From the ancient Greek philosophers to modern musicians, the human race is bound tightly in a common aim to reach that realistically-ideal place where the disparities are narrower. The ability to envision an ideal is the human race’s single most important ability to keep us going through the roughest patches. It is the only belief that gives us resilience and something to look forward to. In short, the pursuit of the ideal is the very thing that keeps us fighting and tirelessly strive towards perfection.

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