I believe in...
I understand pessimists. It’s the others I just can’t fathom- the realists! What stuff are they made of? It really beats me. Somebody please help!
My name is Chukwualuka and I am an optimist, an idealist by profession. I love realists but I don’t enjoy being realistic. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s crazy. Okechukwu Aneke thinks I am the crazy one! Ha! We shall see!
In 2016, against a 500-1 odd (put out by the realists), Liecester City won the English Premier League. They didn’t have a “single star.” Chelsea, the defending champions came tenth and Jose Mourinho, the Special One, was sacked again. In 2016, world number 772, Marcus Willis beat world number 54, Ricardas Berankis at Wimbledon. As if that wasn’t enough, Novak Djokovic, the world best, lost in the third round to No 41, Sam Querrey. The realists were pretty surprised. World best player, Lionel Messi missed a penalty against Chile at the finals of the Copa America. “Unbelieveable”, the realists exclaimed! Are you kidding me? He has lost more goals than he has scored.
Approximately 90% of the world’s all-time population is dead. That means 9 in every 10 people are likely dead. Being realistic is believing you’re 90% likely to meet a ghost every day, 90% of your friends, family, well wishers and enemies are ghosts and that you’re 90% likely to be a ghost. The mistake the realist makes is that he takes statistics at face value, forgetting the data behind the figures. If Edison actually tried 1000 times before getting the filament for the light bulb, he had a 0.001% chance for success. Was he crazy to have tried some more? Or were those who told him not to try anymore the crazy ones? The statistic behind failure fails to account for the innumerable lessons learned during the course of failure. Take this other instance; about 55 million people die every year. That means 1.375 billion people have died in the last twenty-five years. Realistically, all of China could die in 25 years. That means, births aside, if you are above 20, there is more than a 13.75% chance you’re already dead. That’s just how crazy being realistic can be.
Phew! That is why I am forever an idealist. Being idealistic is knowing that it’s not stupid waiting up for the moon. The fact there was no full-moon yesterday doesn’t mean there won’t be one today. It is knowing that the fact you don’t see the moon doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It might just be behind the trees in the distance. It is knowing that although there is a 100% chance clouds will cover the sun every now and then every day, the sun will still come out of those clouds. Being an idealist is looking forward to tomorrow, even if today doesn’t make sense. It is assigning tomorrow her own clean slate, not judging her on the merits of yesterday or today. It is assessing tomorrow based on her own offers, not writing her off because of the color of her skin or the look on her face. Moody sky or hard earth, tomorrow is still a gift. Being idealistic is sleeping out on the balcony, waiting for my brother who never came home.
Now that I think of it, I think in a sense we’re all realists. We just choose to be realistic about different thing. Some choose to be realistic about the imminence of defeat while others choose to be realistic about the fact that if defeat is possible then victory is also on the line. There are only two sides to every coin. The chances of throwing a head or tail are dependent on the spirit of the one who tosses. That’s what statistics don’t tell you- the spirit of the man behind the wheel.
I read novels and I don’t particularly fancy happily-ever-after endings. They are usually too simplistic. They’re not simple, they are simplistic. They ring too much of Hollywood and too much of Hollywood can’t be good for an idealist. The point is, life isn’t fairyland, but life could be a fairytale. How will you tell your story? Life will throw you lots of rocks. That’s why you can build a rock-solid foundation. Me, I believe in happy endings. Tragic endings could also be overly simplistic. I believe in happily ever afters.