I consider myself a realist - and according to this website, a realist is a person who uses facts and past events, rather than hopeful feelings and wishes, to predict the future - and that makes complete sense to me. How else can you predict something if you don’t have some supporting data or historical facts to back up your speculation?
Realism makes sense to me. Why? Because life is so uncertain and unpredictable and all we know is what we know. Our experiences are all we have. They teach us the whats and hows of life. Without our experiences, we are clueless and being clueless is an uncomfortable state of mind for me to be in.
I don’t want to be clueless. So as a realist, I try to find information, seek knowledge and learn new things everyday that can help me predict the future or make better choices.
I don’t like hanging in the balance.
I don’t like watching the pendulum swing.
I don’t think limbos should exist.
And I don’t believe our actions don’t have consequences.
But you see, I just used the word - believe - and to me, the idea of a belief - which by definition is a concept that doesn’t require proof just acceptance - goes against everything that has to do with realism. I do believe certain things to be true. I have beliefs - and I may not have any tangible proofs for them.
Yet, I have beliefs and yet, I consider myself to be a realist. Can I be both? Is there a spectrum that realism and idealism falls under and maybe I am just navigating the waters? Or do I just believe that I am a realist when in fact I am not?
You see, I am not the only person battling with this. In some ways, our societies - as a whole - are battling with what news is real or fake. People are struggling to accept the news or socio-economic debates at face value. People are choosing their truth - whether it is realistic or idealistic.
For example, listen to this conversation between a news producer and her news anchor from Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom.
There’s a thin line between realism, idealism and the concept of beliefs - and until I know better, I think I’ll be navigating these waters for a while.