IDEALS

“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.”—Miguel de Cervantes
 
            Sometimes a man needs an ideal to become better.  Sometimes a man needs to hold belief in something greater—whether it is real or not in the present—for which to aim his efforts, to raise his own position and advance a dream toward a life-state others cannot see. 
            Cervantes wrote of a fool old-man who lived in a dream where magic and chivalry still existed.  The fiction world derided this fool, but the real world loved him.  Why?
            Dostoevsky wrote of the good inherent in man through flawed and imperfect characters.  The ideal was what he captured told through characters written as real.  Both authors endured imprisonment, poverty, ruin, and—in the end—redemption.  They died leaving legacies that outlive the kingdoms and empires that imprisoned, broke their bodies, and sought to break their will.  Their words survived beyond censors, rulers, and all of man’s repeated designs since to cage the human spirit. 
            As long as an ideal lives within a human heart, that man remains unbroken.  He remains empowered to rise, fight, and persist; and for this, the Kingdoms of Man beg the low to give up such dreams, or implore the masses to align ideals with the aims of the Present State.
            There is something powerful in an ideal.  Ideals raise men above the imminent and drive them to something beyond.  Ideals change the world. 
            When ideals are lived and shared, they are no longer static.  When an ideal is expressed and manifested in action, a strange thing happens: others come to believe too.  There is buy in, however small the beginning; and, in that, a momentum that moves the world nearer to the dream. 
            Ideals are born from fools, a fool that sees beyond today to shape an unmade tomorrow.  It changes the dreamer.  It changes those who come to believe; then slowly, and sometimes with great speed, an ideal changes the world.
            Perhaps it is a Quixotic hope to think one man can move the world for the better, but it happens every day.  The proof is all around. 
            I’d rather be a fool with a dream than the same resigned to a disillusioned existence born from false perceptions of permanence in this world.  I would rather live for an ideal—seeking something higher—than defer to a present, but temporary, state that my mind and I have the power to affect today. 
            I will attempt the absurd.  I will dream the impossible dream.  Maybe I can make it real. 
 
“…To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go;
To right the unrightable wrong.

To love, pure and chaste, from afar,
To try, when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star!

 
This is my Quest to follow that star,
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far,
To fight for the right
Without question or pause,
To be willing to march into hell
For a heavenly cause…

And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable stars!”
― Joe Darion, Man of La Mancha

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