"Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress." – Nicholas Murray Butler
Recently I've begun noticing some people using the term "idealistic" as a negative and it really got me thinking – is it better to be an "idealist" or a "realist" when it comes to Freehold Borough. Idealists are understood to represent the world as it might or should be, unlike realists who focus on the world as it presently is. For example…
- Is it better to aim high and not reach, or to aim at average and reach it?
- Is it better to be good or fair?
- Is it better to be optimistic or pessimistic?
To put it in more practical terms…
- Should JFK have promised we'd put a man on the moon within 10 years though the NASA had only been established a mere 3 years earlier?
- Should Steve Jobs have compromised his design and technological integrity when building Apple?
- Should New York City politicians have panicked and sold-off portions of Central Park when the city was on the verge of bankruptcy in the 1970's?
In my opinion, to only aim for "average" cuts short the potential of humanity. Just because humanity isn't perfect does not mean it cannot reach excellence every now and again. And even though sometimes there is little guaranteed chance of success, that doesn't mean we shouldn't at least try. Failure is never a foregone conclusion and countless people in ages past have found it better to expend themselves heroically in a worthwhile, but ultimately impossible cause.
Simply put, I don't think Freehold Borough is nearly an impossible cause. And maybe when it comes to our town I DO tend to lean more towards the idealistic side of the spectrum, but is that really such a bad thing?