In his 2003 book, El Hombre Light, Enrique Rojas states that men are caught up in a materialistic routine of struggle-to-acquire where values become relative, dreams get lost in concrete jungles, and there are no ideals left for which to fight.
"Can it be true?" I asked myself. Can idealism. and therefore romance, be dead?
Was I alone out there, with my belief in “the one”, though many have told me to “get real”; my daily contemplation of ocean waves while wondering where the day might take me; my habit of calling stray dogs on the street and petting them for no reason other than to make them and me feel good?
I refused to believe idealism and romance were dead. "They're merely dormant," I told myself and decided to launch a Dream-More-Dream-Better-Be-An-Idealist-Be-A-Romantic campaign within the confines of my four walls and, well, maybe the Internet.
Dreamers, idealists, romantics, closet poets, observers, smilers, closet musicians, amateur writers, existential detectives, seaside walkers, music lovers — the world needs us!
It’s been made cynical by too much Seinfeld and long working hours, overdosed on too much E!, stressed out on all those credit cards that need to get paid and all those many fine products that need to get bought.
But we can learn. We can learn to look at the world with the wide eyes of innocence, expecting and hoping for serendipity, believing that every day might bring new ladybugs that will get entangled in our hair and we’ll probably stumble trying to get them out and crash head straight into “the one”. Yes, we need to dream so badly!
We need idealism and romance injected straight into our blood torrent.
And they are possible, even in the midst of all those bills on the coffee table, the job we may not enjoy all that much, the television that dreams its own dreams for us, the media that numbs us.
Viktor Frankl once said that the thought of his wife, the image and feel of her, kept him sane inside the horror of the three concentration camps he stayed at. He survived the camps and went on to write a book that became one of the foundations of existential therapy. I guess you could say Frankl was a dreamer, and remained one even in the face of adversity. Adversity can bring out the best in us, adversity can be a catalyst of dreams. Don't let adversity be an excuse to dream less.
So next time you’re feeling blue, grab your partner, play that Unchained Melody and dance in the middle of your kitchen. Dare to become a hopeful romantic, a crazy dreamer, and a stubborn idealist. Remember, the world needs more of us.