To the friend that once said, “You need to be realistic.”

December 23, 2014 § 1 Comment

To the friend that once said, “You need to be realistic.”

It’s true.
I am an idealist, an optimist, or in more misogynistic terms
a Polly Anna.
I am an idealist. Like it or don’t.
But
I still see reality.
I still know pain.
I still feel the suffering of others.
Instead of accepting those harsh truths – like you do – as constants,
I strive for better.

He then says, “You can want all you like…”
and I cut him off.
His words are dismissive and elitist.
His privilege – very similar to my own – grins wolfishly.
I cut him off because he needs to understand he is better,
he is more,
he is greater…
than his words,
his defenses of privilege,
his shallow view of reality.
I cut him off because he deserves better
(we all do).
I cut him off and make one thing clear,

“Idealism doesn’t make me naïve;
it makes me brave.”

“Brave?” he scoffs.

So I explain.
I am not an idealist because I am disconnected from reality.
I am an idealist because I choose to stare reality in the face,
embrace the fear it evokes,
feel it tear at my being,
and still I demand better.
I am an idealist because I haven’t given up on this world
or the people in it.
I am an idealist because I am brave enough to stand before reality
and say,

“You can be better.
I can be better.
And I will dedicate my life so that all may have better.”

Before his rebuttal, I add,
“Realism has no conviction, my friend.
It only has convicts.”

He shrugs me off as he always does.
I hope this time my words will sink in,
this time he will feel what I feel,
that maybe this time he will want to be free.

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