Idealists: In Verge of Extinction?

October 16, 2021

We all live our day to day lives and situations, doing the things we love and appreciate, carrying out certain tasks or responsibilities that form or constitute the core essence of each of our own individual life situations and to quite a surprise - our roles as well in a given society, which with its pressures and constraints also goes a long way to affect or impact our lives or the circumstances that come along with it. As we navigate through the 'hustle and bustle' of our lives, vouching for solutions to the 'missing puzzle pieces' that come in our pathway, there comes a certain group of individuals or people who in the present day society we live in, are often looked down upon or neglected, given the value systems and beliefs that currently govern the society we all live in today, as well as the pressures exerted by the so-called 'capitalist culture' or the 'capitalist mindset' which has exerted it's influence in our day to day situations and circumstances. These are none other than 'idealists' or the 'good-natured people' whom we come to refer to increasingly in our day to day situations.

Idealists are generally considered to be people who commit themselves to the principles or ideals that would generally make or constitute what you would in practical terms refer to as a 'true or genuine human being'. These are the same values and beliefs that are very much enshrined in our scriptures ranging from as simple as kindness, goodness, generosity, respect towards elders, tolerance- all of which are essential and necessary in order to maintain and promote a healthy co-existence in our communities and societies. These are also the same values that are outlined in the 'strategic plan' of every company or organization worldwide, which in turn sets the tone and the work-culture for the people and the employees to follow. Quite surprisingly, these same values or beliefs outlined in all the possible places and in all the possible documentation if implemented fully in practice- constitute a 'true idealist', which indeed is quite surprising- given the current world we all live in today.

As the reality portrays it, idealists often have a tough time adjusting to the 'practicalities of life' as well as getting accustomed to the beliefs that constitute the majority of the world's population. The world as we currently know it, runs based on the philosophy of 'realism' or 'materialism' which stresses more on amassing 'material pleasures and wealth' at the cost of comprising the fundamental ideals and value systems of an 'ideal society'. This often tends to run contradictory to the perceptions or beliefs of an idealist- who would often find himself or herself secluded amidst the vast majority of materialists and realists who 'go with the flow' for fear of mockery or isolation. In fact, it is quite surprising to note that the idealists are the ones who generally end up being 'mocked at' or 'poked fun at' due to the reason of submitting to the ideals of the rest of the mainstream society, and it is quite sad to see that the voices of these very people are silenced in our very own political systems, our economical and judicial systems and in quite recent times - our corporate or HR practices of major companies worldwide. It is really sad to see that the practice of 'comprising the value systems' has become the norm in every situation and circumstance that we come across and it is not surprising to note that the large scale scams and frauds as well as incidents of company stocks being 'manipulated' all point out to the extent to which our society has headed and is still continuing to progress in that direction.

While a lot of fingers can be pin-pointed to the origin or the cause of the said situation or circumstance, it is worth noting that all of us individuals in some way or the other are collectively responsible for promoting this 'culture', so much so that it has started to become the norm and we even fail to realize or notice the difference between what can be considered ethical versus unethical. A lot of people would argue that 'education' can be considered as one of the 'best tools' in order to spread awareness about the need or necessity of ’ideals’ in a given society. But to how much of an extent can educators do their part in order to allow these values to permeate in a set class or a group of students that come under their purview? At the end of the day, each student is an individual, and each individual relates a particular lesson or teaching based on their individual circumstance or situation. Once again, each and every individual circumstance or situation is influenced by what experiences the individual has encountered for him or her to develop that particular belief or value system. As a result educators are stressed with no choice to teach the particular matter or subject to all the students or people alike, with total ignorance of the realities or circumstances that make up or form a particular individual. This is something really sad and at the same time serious to take note of cause what we absorb and grasp as individuals, very much dictates who we become at the end, and also our values and beliefs too are influenced by what happens in our lives and surroundings all around us.

The only way we could help stir a change or restructure the current reality we live in, would be to open up our minds to the present day circumstances and situations. By opening up our minds and exposing ourselves to the reality, we would be able to get an in-depth understanding into the happenings of the world while at the same time, relate it to the ideals and value systems of an 'ideal society' so that we could possibly come to a general consensus as to how we could improve our lives thereafter. It is worth pointing out in this regard that the onus lies on every individual, and if we together can help come to terms with that reality and help stir that change - the hopes for a better world could come closer to us faster than ever!




By Bryce D’Souza
Bryce D’Souza is a recent graduate from a college based in Goa and currently working at KPMG Dubai in the role of a sales and marketing trainee.
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Comment on this article

  • Bryce D'Souza, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

    Mon, Oct 18 2021

    Thank you so much Mangalurian for your comment. I truly appreciate your opinion and perspective on the subject. To be frank, I would also concur with your point of view when looking at it in a more realistic sense of survival such as the pandemic- a very classic example where many people had lost their jobs specially those people with certain livelihoods or occupations that required people to be present on the streets at all times (street hawkers, vendors) and quite surprisingly even the casual labourers were jobless. As a result a lot of them ventured out into criminal activity which caused a great amount of instability in the society (Goa) cause at the end of the day, they needed to survive to carry on with their lives. It is quite interesting indeed when you look at societies from varying perspectives which would often make you wonder of the way the society is arranged and structured, giving an individual the impetus to question the reality of how we live our lives the way we live it. And different perspectives also bring along with them great and interesting arguments to support the situation or the circumstance attached to it. Another interesting thing to point out, away from the topic- on one hand while the society may exist for the purpose of satisfying as they say the basic requirements to carry out with your life, when looked at from from a broader or deeper sense you may also realise that the society is also structured in such a way that certain people enjoy more benefits versus other (which is also why the whole world is divided). In short, a lot of different perspectives with many and numerous interpretations!

  • Mangalurian, Mangaluru

    Sun, Oct 17 2021

    Thank you Mr D’Souza for your interesting article. No judging on what you have written, but I have been of the opinion that idealism equates to naivete - typically displayed by people who have not yet experienced the real world. The real world begins, in my opinion, when one has to balance Rs. 1000 income against Rs. 9000 expenses. Or when a health emergency arises, and no answers from the 'know-it-all' medicine men. Insecurity is the mother of all the troubles. Let my comment not discourage you. You have demonstrated good writing skills.

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