An Ideal World

How many times have you heard the phrase “an ideal world”?

In an ideal world [fill in the blank] wouldn’t exist.

From ants to racism to zyzzyva, in an ideal world, it wouldn’t exist.

I’ve never liked the phrase “in an ideal world”. I was thinking about it today in the context of another post that’s been brewing for awhile.

Call me slow, but just today, I realized something: one person’s ideal world is not the same as another person’s ideal world.

In my ideal world, neuropathic pain wouldn’t exist. But neurologists might not like that too much. Then, again, maybe in their ideal world, they’d all be beach bums. I’m pretty sure that the lifeguards don’t include a bunch of middle-aged paunchy people on the beach when they imagine their ideal worlds. (Sorry, but all of the neurologists I’ve met have been middle-aged and paunchy, even the one female neurologist.)

I think that, in everyone’s ideal world, racism would not exist. But for some people, racism wouldn’t exist because we’ve all embraced our differences and come together as one. While for others, racism wouldn’t exist because we’d all be white with blonde hair and blue eyes.

So you see, an ideal world doesn’t exist. One ideal world will never exist. Millions of little ideal worlds won’t exist either. We can’t decide on what makes the world ideal.

Therefore, I have decided to never again use the phrase “an ideal world”. Certainly not in writing. Hopefully not while speaking. I may slip and say it when I’m nagging a child in the future, but I’ll try really hard not to.

Who’s with me? I say, down with an ideal world!

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