Saturday, October 01, 2011

An Ideal World

What do you think? Would an ideal world be enjoyable?

Recently my niece and I discussed this… you know how a person will glibly say, “well, when we create the ideal world, this will happen” (politicians will get along, for example).

We began to think about what an “ideal world” would be like. Would we do away with deafness in our ideal world? I asked. Immediately I answered my own question: no! Deaf people have such a beautiful, expressive language and see the world in such a unique, visual way. Most Deaf people that I know would not want to be hearing! Their Deaf world is a beautiful gift for the rest of us to discover, and it has been a joy for me to experience what I can of it.

My niece, who works in the field of autism, said a similar thing. There are so many autistic people who have unique gifts in a particular area (such as math or technology.) Without autism, would that gift be lost? Would their unique personalities be something entirely different without the autism? She, too, has experienced joy as she lives among people with autism. Severe autism… that one she had to think about. Would she do away with severe autism in an ideal world? It is such a difficult condition to deal with!

Or would other people, in our ideal world, be so accepting and comfortable with people of various disabilities, that the severity would be mitigated? The world would, for example, automatically create accessible spaces. The world would operate in such a way that no one would be excluded due to hearing loss, vision loss, physical impairments, or mental illness.

In our ideal world, so many professions would be unnecessary… my own, for example.. sign language interpreting. In an ideal world, at least if you ask most Deaf people, everyone would be fluent in Sign Language. Is that what you think of when you think “ideal world?”

What about poverty and wealth? In an ideal world, would we all share equally? Would some of us accept not being so grotesquely rich? Who would get to live in the mansions, or would mansions even exist?

In an ideal world, do arguments take place? What a boring world, without any debate on issues! We’d still need politicians to set laws such as speed limits, I guess. Or would we? Maybe everyone would just agree to certain limits…. or would we become a bunch of robots (and therefore not ideal)?

Where to draw the line, in creating an ideal world, is very complicated once you begin to really think about it. It’s kind of like time travel: seems nice on the surface, but when you think about all the implications, maybe it’s really not something we want.

I have had these thoughts in my brain for a while, mulling them over. We’re even discussing them at church. We’re starting to read the entire Bible together, front to back (in a “Readers’ Digest” version of the Bible, called The Story.) The first discussion was on Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. Was it really perfect? What was it like? Did God really not want us to partake of the forbidden fruit? Or was temptation part of the plan, knowing that an ideal world would be No Fun!?

I don’t have the answers, but the questions are fun to think about! What would you do away with in YOUR ideal world?


Sextant said...

Interesting post. You are sort playing around with the concept of free will. Do we have it? When you start to think about these things, the become rather complex quickly. There are no simple answers. In a ideal world, let's do away with aging and death. So do we have to do away with birth as well? We all will just hang around forever with the same old ideas? Is stasis ideal?

JeannetteLS said...

I am simplistic... to me, the ideal world needs only one rule that is followed: do unto others as you would have them do unto you--every religion's version of that one thing. Doesn't mean people must give up all wealth--just that they do not let others starve in the streets, that they do not brook meanness.

I guess I do not think of "ideal" as the same as "perfect." People will never be perfect, but perhaps we COULD, in an ideal world, obliterate abject poverty, persecution, cruelty, and... what word... complaisance. We would not live with blinders on.

The Japanese used to have an upper limit for executive salaries: I believe it was no more than 7 times that of the lowest paid employee. Doesn't mean you could not aspire to wealth, but the greater your wealth, the greater the wealth of everyone else.

Thank you for this post. A long time ago I stopped picturing a big utopia because of what you and your daughter did! WHERE do we Stop?

Maybe all we can do is create little bits of the ideal where we can?