I spend most of my days right now thinking, writing, talking and musing on many issues surrounding education and development. Many of my thoughts are discussed in my book, but I also enjoy challenging my own thoughts by sharing and discussing with others. Thus here are a few blog-posts of my current thoughts on a few topics to share with you all. Comments, ideas, questions back are greatly encouraged :)
...On Idealism versus Realism
Many of us want to change the world. Many of us hope to make a difference in people’s lives; whether they be people we know or people yet to be born. Yet, while we may all strive for a better future, our approaches frequently differ. Some of us are idealists. Some of us are realists. Both have their promise and both have their faults. Living in a world of hope, of idealism, of “what ifs” may never come to fruition (certainly within a lifetime) and thus requires a sustainable model of pursuit, whereas living in a pragmatic dogmatic world may result in a future of disappointment and failure.
Thus, does an optimal future require a balance of the two? In order to make any significant change in the world, do we need to balance our utopian dreams with more basic, realistic action?
Russell Brand (Britain's "bad-lad turned good" voice of the underdog) is championing for a revolution. For all of his controversies, I like the guy. He's quirky, bold; strikingly intelligent and is prepared to step outside of the conventional system to do things in another way. He is someone taking action within his vision of an idealistic future but with a practical application of doing something in the here and now.
(For a better idea of what he is trying to do/what he is encouraging us all to oppose, here's his delicious interview with Jeremy Paxman)
In order to evoke any kind of change, I wonder whether Empathy is the tool we all need. I guess it is a part of the romantic versus scientific opposition that is a fundamental duologue within human nature, but I do believe that to see clearly the problems that lie ahead of us (individually or collectively) we have to see them with more than just our eyes. Empathy and understanding are perhaps the most crucial elements necessary for evoking change, whether in an idealist or realistic setting. Having, or striving to gain, an understanding of why people do what they do, why systems exist as they do, why people think as they do, before working to make changes for the better is crucial (no matter what sort of change they may be.)
This little video from the delightful Dr Jane Goodall presents so beautifully the bringing together of mind and heart to evoke change in the world, wherever and whatever that “world” may involve: Encouraging empathy