Idealism, dreams and pragmatism are not divergent concepts which are not supposed to converge at any point. Rather, these need to be merged and meshed together to create the right balance in our lives.
‘Be practical’, ‘get real,’ these are some of the suggestions that keep constantly floating in our vicinity. At times dished out as advice, at others as admonishment, we are always urged to go for the concrete and avoid the nebulous at all costs. But somehow, I have never seen anything wrong in building castles in the air, as long as someone is willing to toil hard enough in order to put the foundations below that castle.
To dream is to aspire and it is through the ideals that we live and build ourselves. Having lofty dreams is therefore no crime. If history is any proof, all Wright brothers had was but a lofty dream and today we cannot think of a world without air transportation.
Does this mean that we should shun pragmatism and have no rendezvous with reality in case we want to leave our mark on this world? It certainly does not. Idealism, dreams and pragmatism are not divergent concepts which are not supposed to converge at any point. Rather, these need to be merged and meshed together to create the right balance in our lives.
You can visualize the most elaborate architectural wonder in this world but it cannot manifest until the plan is executed with all the precision it requires. Aiming high is always good, but, it has to tempered based on the environs around us for successful completion. It is necessary to have a realistic sense of what the consequences of our actions can be, to protect our dreams from falling through even before they can begin to take shape. When the Wright brothers were experimenting with their designs for flying, they made sure that provisions were in place to avoid a nose-dive and a crash.
I feel very strongly that one should be imaginative enough to dream, courageous enough to pursue idealism and pragmatic enough to see those plans through. Limiting oneself with some warped sense of boundaries that the world constantly throws at us is the ultimate folly. After all, if you want to spread your wings, sky is the only limit and if you are ready to dream wildly enough and work realistically enough, you might even discover that there is a way to go even beyond the skies.
Dr. Chenraj Roychand
President, Jain University Trust