GRE Issue Essay 220
“Many people admire idealism, but it usually leads to disappointment or trouble.”
Idealism is a belief in perfect situation, life or society, which is very difficult to achieve. I agree that many people admire idealism and build a dream world around them. However, when they are met with reality, it might lead to disappointment and trouble when this desire is not fulfilled. However, I also feel that it is this idealistic approach that is basic to many innovations and advancements. Therefore, it should not be suppressed completely. On the other hand, it must be nurtured and guided in a proper and planned manner to attain success as well as satisfaction.
Idealism encourages a person to divert away from reality. They live is a make-believe world that is not practical in today’s world. When such a person is faced with everyday difficulties and problems, he is not able to solve these simple problems due to his idealistic approach. For example, if a person dreams to possess great wealth. He cannot become rich overnight. It is only through persistent efforts as well as some luck that he can attain that state. Similarly, if we think of forming an ideal state within today’s world which is free of any grievances, it would not be possible with the existence of the poor, the uneducated and inefficient government. In such a case where the desire is for the best but it is not achieved, it is bound to make a person disappointed and disillusioned.
Idealistic ideas are difficult to maintain in today’s world. If a person were a follower of Gandhi’s idealistic life, he would be a strong believer in non-violence and would only use home made fabrics and goods. However, in today’s world, it is difficult to remain away from the marketed goods that either import the raw materials or finished goods. One cannot live on home made khadi for a long time. Similarly, if a person is a staunch vegetarian and supports the ethical treatment of animals, is it possible to maintain such a lifestyle? It has been seen that such people make use of leather belts and shoes made of animal skin. There have been instances of popular models against animal brutality posing for photographs while supporting costumes made of animal fur. Either this suggests lack of knowledge or trouble in maintaining idealistic lifestyle.
However, idealistic views should not be shunned off completely. Instead of getting disappointed, efforts should be made in order to reach the goals set through idealistic views. While it is the need of the times to be realistic, it is idealism that gives impetus to further experiments, discoveries and inventions. Therefore, it can be said that it is only when we dream of an ideal situation that we make efforts to get closer to it. Instead of leaving idealism for hard reality, we must in fact make our goals with the idealistic approach and try to reach them with realistic and practical methods. Had there been no idealists to think about a machine which would allow long distance communication, there would not have been telephones and satellite connections today. Similarly, it is only when people desired to have a more comfortable and faster journey that cars, trains and airplanes were made. Hence, idealism gives direction to the efforts done today in order to reach to a better state and derive more satisfaction.
In the end I would like to sum up by saying that idealism can lead to disappointment when the state of perfection is not reached. However, an ideal approach today leads to pragmatist concepts in future. Therefore, instead of getting disappointed due to non-fulfillment of wishes, we must make efforts to reach closer to these idealistic goals.