Realism – balancing naivety and cynicism

Note: This post was drafted on 2 August. And it’s a ranting post.

I have much hope and faith in people who just went out and did things. People who don’t sit around and argue, talk, discuss, but simply went about doing things and making things happen, and proved their point eventually.

The reality is that wild places are dying. They’re slowly but surely replaced by modified and adapted habitats. All we’ll have left is the resilient stuff that managed to survive climate change, human land use, chemical and physical pollution and all the other changes we’re making to the natural environment. Lots of things will be lost, pretty places and flora and fauna and all. Probably, the only thing we can do is to protect places so that there will at least be something left, even if it’s not in its original state.

And that’s a reality that we can’t change, much as I’d like to hope otherwise.

I could be naive and hope to have true wilderness, but I know I’ll probably never get it. Not in Singapore at least. So should I not even bother hoping for that, and instead, channel my energy to working on what we can do, achievable targets?

Yet I can’t be cynical and keep thinking/saying that we will lose everything, that the government doesn’t care. To not diss everything and say useless criticisms that doesn’t help any but just fuels mindless anger. I find that being cynical is not progressive. To keep thinking that oh, they’re just doing it for appearance, just a pretense. Or that, nah that doesn’t work, there are all these problems. Yeah true, maybe they do it for show, or maybe there are problems. But just saying it and criticising it isn’t helping any, is it? I guess at least they’re trying to do something, better than none at all.

To not be naive and think that the world is perfect and that everything will work out well. But also not be dismissive of all that is being done.

But I still find myself being hopelessly naive when it comes to working with people. I don’t understand how there are people who just treat their work as merely a job, with no real passion or desire to make things better. Should we not all take pride in our work, whether it’s something you think is important (like saving lives) or unimportant (like sweeping the floor)? How is it that there can be people who don’t strive to do their work well, and make life difficult for everyone else who want to?

realism vs cynicism.

reality sucks and doesnt always make sense. but we need to have hope in the few people who are striving to make a positive difference, in creating change, hopefully lasting change.

Ideally, the whole world would think the same and be able to make things better when we work together, and put away economics and everything else that stands in the way. But that would never happen, so we just work with what we have and try to change things anyway.

And when I ask, will these places still remain, 5, 10 years from now, I’m not being cynical. Neither am I that naive to think that we will have all our wonderful nature places intact still, many years from now. I’m just being realistic, asking questions and hoping to get answers. Hoping that the answers will be what I want to hear. And when I think that the answer I’m going to hear is that nothing is safe from development, that building houses and factories is more important, I’m not being cynical. Because much as I hope that perhaps, the government will say that the place will be conserved, it is much more realistic to think that nothing is safe anyway. Though I sure as hell hope otherwise.

As always, we have to pick the battles we want to fight. Cos not everything can be saved. :/ It is very heartwarming to see more people standing up for our nature spaces and to know of people who are doing great work in conservation though (: Gives me hope that there will be a future I can look forward to, and that there’s something that I can do too.


About Jocelyne Sze

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
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