I see a lot of people criticizing idealism, dismissing the mentality as naive, fantastical, or even stupid. I will say, there are some imbecile idealists out there, and there is a fine line between pursuing an ideal, and living a fantasy. This is not to say, however, that idealism is wrong.
Most of humanity has an ideal future they’d like to live in. It could be a certain political ideal, a more aesthetic world, a life of riches, or something that satisfies social desires, such as a level of status or a relationship.
However, many take a look at the utopias they hope to create, the perfect artwork they’d like to design, the riches they’d like to make, the happiness they hope to achieve, and turn away from it as though it could never be anything more than a fantasy. People resent the idea of reaching out to the beautiful woman and thus leave such an action exclusively in fiction.
The first step in achieving anything in life, from walking on Mars to making a sandwich, is believing it is possible, and pessimism is the inertia of dreams. The life you desire will never occur should you refuse to believe that you can achieve such a life, or that such a life is possible. If you don’t believe you can achieve the riches you desired, your chances of earning them are decimated. If you don’t believe you can be loved, or do not love yourself, you shall find love’s embrace just beyond your reach.
Wherever there is an invention, a creation of wealth, an achievement of happiness, there was a someone who believed that those things could exist. Idealism, however strange at times, is a necessary ingredient for the bringing of what is a wonder in the mind, to what is a wonder in reality.
I am reminded of a quote I love and have used before, from Michaelangelo. The artist famously stated: “I saw the Angel in the marble and carved until I set him free”. When someone tells you that the angel you seek does not exist, that the life you desire is impossible… remember the angel. Carve him free, and with him, comes a more perfect standard, a more perfect life, and a more perfect world.