..because i live in a make-believe world

a lot of people call me naive.

or believe me to be an idealist who is unaware of what is going on in the world.

i’ll be the first to admit that i am.  but perhaps in a way that is different from what you would think.  in some respects, you might be right though.   i do not know everything, and i don’t stay caught up on current events as much as i would like to; and when it comes to history, i am just plain awful.  naive?  perhaps.  an idealist? quite likely.  however, i would like to distinguish that this does not mean that i am dumb. nor does it mean that i am unaware of all of the bad events that take place in the world, or of the atrocious acts that humans are capable of committing. i assure you, i know that it exists.  …i probably wouldn’t be going to school for social work if i thought that the world didn’t have any problems : )

for a while now, it has been a running joke with my friends that i live in my own pretend little world.  my annoying optimism and inability to see the bad in people more than likely serve as evidence.

today was meaningful because i realized they were right.  but today was also meaningful because i also realized they were wrong.

it struck me today at my internship.  i work with men who are in recovery from addiction.  an overwhelming majority of them have done things they are not proud of while under the influence, or while trying to obtain their drug of choice.  many of their behaviors have resulted in broken relationships with their family and children.  some of them have resorted to violent behaviors. and some are in the program because they are court ordered, avoiding jail/prison, or are simply just tired of the life they have been living.  a lot of them are currently homeless.  all of them are veteran’s.  from vietnam to operation iraqi freedom.  and they are amazing.  yes, they may have done some bad things in the past, but i truly believe they are good people.

people have strong, negative feelings towards drug addiction. or homelessness.  or welfare.

and i guess this is where my fantasy world comes in.  despite what they may have done in the past, i am most interested in their future.  in my world, i  see people who are doing their best to be better.  my world consists of good people, kind people, honest people.  in my world, people deserve second chances.  people deserve to not be judged or ostracized. 

my world is wonderful because i choose to see it that way.  i see, hear, and read about bad things every day. while you might argue that humans are capable of being extremely bad, i would also argue that humans are capable of being extraordinarily great.  yes, some individuals choose to do mean things, but there are also just as many people trying to do some good.

this is not to discount anyone’s experience or ignore what is truly going on.  what i am trying to say is that i refuse to let the world be a bad place.  i just won’t settle for it.

while i may not be able to change, fix, or solve everything, in my world, people try anyway.   and when bad or evil things do happen (as they will), i try to not just sit and complain about it.  in my world, people act  and create change.

i do live in a different world.  but its not because i don’t know any better.  and my world isn’t completely idealistic, its based on what is real.  there are a lot of great things going on in the world.

and if you think the world is bad, maybe its because you are choosing to only notice the bad.  give people a chance.  get to know them.  and maybe your world can become a little more perfect too.

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