“Our life dreams the Utopia. Our death achieves the Ideal.’’ – Victor Hugo
“Utopia means elsewhere.’’ – John Malkovich
From the moment we are conceived, our parents strive to build a perfect world for us: peaceful, full of happiness, free of worries and without wars and conflicts. They undoubtedly try their best, but do they succeed? Is our world perfect and is it an ideal reality or a fantasy? What does it mean to us, when an individual refers to a ”perfect world”? Is it a utopia or perhaps even a dystopia?
Оur society sets the foundations for general standards, moral norms, human relationships, regimes and penalties. Our society dictates what is good and bad behaviour, appropriately determining sanctions.
Society forms the framework, but people decide whether to rebel or remain obedient. Our behavior depends on us, on what kind of person we are or strive to be. We all have different views of things, some limiting what they see and others looking beyond — ”out of the frame”. Some have considered divergence as a serious rebellious trait, while for others this is quite natural.
There aren’t any rules for creating a perfect world. It is very simple: perhaps for me, it is perfect, depending on my ideals, attitudes and desires.
It is about our perspective and vision of the future, of what we want to achieve. From this perspective, our society needs both elements: utopia and dystopia. This is the only true form of structure that will allow a balance between the good and bad.
In today’s modern and digitalized society, it is impossible to stand in the same place. The world, the economy, the people all strive for progress, development and innovation. But the process of modernization also brings something else. Even before, there were wars and diseases. Today, there are more and more new diseases that are emerging, new military hot spots that are ignited and people are constantly dissatisfied with living standards.
As we delve deeper, we will discover that a true utopia is fictional. There is no single place on the earth where everything for everyone is perfect, so perfect that there is no need for conflict or wars. In our world, we can see people who are indeed happy and fit perfectly into the existing functional order. On the other hand, we can also see that some people have already felt the consequences of the cruelty of life and social restraints.
When I just think about living in a utopian society for a moment, the idea becomes boring and too uniform for me. Everyone follows the norms and rules. There is no rebellion, no punishment, no negotiation — everything goes according to a predetermined pattern.
If you try to bypass the social norms or are somehow complicit in its transgressions, you are a bad example, atypical of such a society. In that sense, some of us might feel we belong more to that imperfect, dystopian society.
It is only through the elements of a dystopian world that the economy and human rights can be improved. It is a system in which everyone can rebel for example if the price of food has gone up or our salaries are not appropriate for the job. It is the only way to deviate from existing norms and change them for a positively impactful cause — to improve and innovate the system, making it more efficient and economical.
The key problem is that everyone interprets what the perfect world means differently. Despite those who express themselves freely, their choosing of their own path does not mean that they live in a perfect world of utopia. For others who fit in and have established themselves in the existing social system of obedience, their ideals may relate more to a utopian society.
Besides the different interpretations of the perfect world, there must be elements of both systems in a society so that we have opportunities to make choices. Тhere should always be room for discussion if something is wrong when the system needs to be changed, so that there is improvement. The ability to initiate and create conflict is often desirable for progress and empowerment. Otherwise, it would be a world stagnating with people who fantasize but are unable to actually live in and enact their aspirations of a perfect world.
We should not only live by social norms. The essence of the perfect life is something deeper. All of the rules which are pre-established by society is just a starting point, a definite framework to guide us. But the way we want to see ourselves, in feeling fulfilled, should be our choice and path. Our power is to make choices about what is right for us, to decide whether to act with courage or out of fear.
The world that exists as it is may not be a good place for everyone. It may not be ‘perfect’ enough for some. If we were to change this, we may be the creators of conflict. Is it worth disrupting the norms and raising a voice for change? Can we raise these challenges in a perfect world, understood strictly as utopia?
We have the responsibility for future generations to create a better world, maybe not perfect, but one that is interesting enough. This would be a world where something constantly happens and is open to change, providing an opportunity for self-awareness whilst preserving the core values of a society. We should seriously consider whether the creation of utopia really means a perfect society. On the same trail of thought, everyone needs to be aware of their rights and responsibilities in society and act accordingly. Otherwise, we will lose ourselves in the pursuit of perfection.