The Uprise and Downfall of an Idealist


I am now 26 years old, one bachelors and masters degree, and I still spent my nights dreaming of leaving a legacy in this world similar to that of Nelson Mandela. Being naturally ambitious, well that’s what everyone calls me, I always think big and outside the box. The university world made me think that theory is reality. I graduated, and now I am having a really hard time adjusting to adulthood. Learning that 1+1 doesn’t always equal 2. Life is grey, and has many road blocks. However, should I become a realist?


Idealism for many is a naive nuance, and childish way of thinking. In the professional world, like global health, idealists have gone as far as implementing poorly thought out policies impacting vulnerable populations, simply because on paper the idea was sound. What now? Should all of us be realists? Mandela wasn’t a realist, hence why he had the vision he had for the black south african population. Rosa Parks wasn’t a realist, hence why she had the courage to sit at the front of that bus on that tired night of work, which changed history forever. The list goes on of history makers and game changers, whose idealist views seemed lunatic at the time, but had to be done.

Idealism isn’t for everyone, neither is being realistic. For people like myself, reaching for the stars and thinking that the impossible could be possible, has paid off. Therefore, I reject the notion that idealism is always a bad thing, I am here to be a game changer.

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