This I Believe.
(Reality and its Imperfections)
“Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces.”
I believe in real. Real people, real places, real things. Friends that care about your personality over the way you look. The beach. I believe in blood, sweat, and tears. Completely putting a gun to somebody’s head with 200 meters left of a mile. That’s all real to me. The same is true for the opposite; losing, getting beat. That’s life. Perfect doesn’t exist, as it shouldn’t.
Pain is real to me. Physical pain, mental pain. Losing a loved one, having to stay in on a Saturday night to work on a project for school, or branding yourself with a fork. None of those things are pleasant, at all. But sometimes getting told what you did wrong is better than a “nice try”, pat on the back. Because if all you ever got were just pat’s on the back, that wouldn’t be life in its entirety.
Drugs are real. Getting high, real. Yet people who take drugs are seen as imperfections. And people continue to be judged by their imperfections. Imperfections, flaws, are what make us human. What make us….. us. Make us real.
My real is different than your real. My real is different than the definition of real. The definition being something you can touch. Winning is real, but I’ve never touched it. The feeling of true satisfaction is real, yet I’ve never been able to reach out and grab it. Yet I know people, even friends, that I can, in fact, reach out and touch, yet they, to me, still seem superficial in their beliefs and the way they present themselves, fake.
Legendary actors, actresses, sports stars, seem perfect to us. The illusion of which they aim to create is simply that, an illusion. Fake, manufactured. Yet to their personal friends, those mythological beings to us, are just another person to go to the movies with for them.
Yes, things you can touch are still considered real to me. I can feel the hot sand. I can feel the cold salt water. But the feeling I get at the beach, with the sand beneath my toes, it’s indescribable, more real to me than anything else in the world.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.