‘Ideal vs. Real’
Reality check — this is what we do when we feel everything seems not right because something awry is going on.
Reality bites. This is the truth that hurts because everything is not right. What is not right is an untruth, a lie. So, it is the lie that actually hurts. What is unreal is painful.
Hence, we provide solutions to correct what is not right — to alleviate the pain, to cure the illness, to heal the malady, to stamp out corruption, to destroy evil, to salvage whatever good is left, and the purposeful intentions go on and on. Could, or must, these be gradual and procedural, or drastic, exacerbate the matter.
Our choices vary. Decisions clash. Sentiments collide. Loyalties severed. Relationships destroyed. Values are demeaned. Virtues are compromised. Opinions explode everywhere. The pundits have spoken.
But are we really listening? Are we discerning — not just as individuals, but as a family, a community, a parish, as one nation? Or better still, are we listening to ourselves?
This is what makes it even more painful. Inasmuch as we tend to lag, there is also in us that rushes. If we are vehemently impatient with laxity, we do likewise hate harshness. But hastiness seems to feed the impervious in us.
We do all these precisely because we have ideals. But the reality does not reflect these ideals all the time.
Election time, for example, is a reality check. We are plunged into the realities of pain, frustration, brewing impatience, heightened and choleric reactions, to name a few. But before we go ballistic about who is worthy for the electoral post, let us realize that the solutions to the menacing problems in society should have come first from ourselves. When in the first place if we did our part, like parents doing their sacred duties and responsibilities, there would never have been impulsive people who promise to do these dirty jobs for us.
In fact, our Christian faith-life is a creative tension between the ideals that Jesus taught us through the Scriptures and the realities of our world.
Even the Church who embodies Jesus’ life and teachings is an arena of struggle as she herself is in the midst of all worldly concerns.
The message of the Gospel is a mediating process providing a pathway and a bridge leading towards salvation. It does not only link reality with the ideal, but incarnates the ideal into reality and in a way transforms anything into something worthwhile, significant and liberating.
Because of this transformative power we personally, conscientiously and actively respond to, we become catalysts for change in society without even hurting each other’s ego. We can work together against the forces that distort reality. We can walk hand in hand despite the odds. And we can make ends meet and achieve not only our own ideals, but most of all that of Christ’s for us and for the rest of humanity.
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