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Written by Daniel Otero

Im an idealist


By: Daniel Otero



Since I was a little boy, I became stupidly so an idealist.  Thinking that we can all live in a better world.


Was it Rodney King who once said, “Can’t we all just get along?”


Must have come from my uncles, parents or just too much reading and daydreaming.


As a member of a minority group, a distinct-social class who believes we can all live together and prosper.  It doesn’t matter race, gender, color or creed.  It was always about equality, sharing and social justice.  In a way it sounds like socialism and possibly so, since the concept on paper sounds better than what’s practiced today around the world.


My idealism must have actually started when I was 12 years old and read a classic by Thomas More called, “Utopia”.  After this, I was hooked by a passion for life which simply wouldn’t go away!


Possibly this idealism began because I felt constantly like the odd-kid out.  One at odds with the world.  The awkward young man without a clear path or goal in life. One who’d be the constant troublemaker, drum-beater and protester throughout his entire existence.


It got more poignant in High School as I read Karl Marx’s “Capital” and loved what men like Einstein and Fraud stood for, an egalitarian society.


However, for all my idealism: I was an unstable, unhappy and literally ‘chasing my own tail’ for most of my life.


Always believing on the ideal of being persistent and never giving up!  But most times [and I have to be completely honest], I wanted too!


As I grew older, I paid dearly for my idealism and confrontational attitude.  It affected my life, whether I lived in a democracy or communist society.  Furthermore, it affected my career and jobs. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my best for every job I performed–whether I loved or hated what I was doing!


Presently and sadly, for all my idealism, I’ve become more practical.  I’ve learned the hard way that for my beliefs, my life has been tougher than most.


Tears come to my eyes thinking about it all!


I should have been less passionate, temperamental and more diplomatic.  Instead of being too honest and saying the first thing that came to my mind!


Then I’ve understood how lucky I’ve been, blessed.  Because without my persistence, idealism and ‘go get it’ attitude: I wouldn’t have traveled to 50 countries, lived in six of them and done amazing things with my life.  Thanks to who I was, I’ve been able to scuba and skydive.  I’ve seen the ‘Northern Lights’ in Iceland, the sun come up in Hong Kong and seen it go down over the Nile in Egypt.


Doing things since I was 16 years of age which 70 percent of the people of the planet wouldn’t even considered doing in their lives.


Therefore, learning another valuable lesson in the process.  It’s after 40 that most men and women achieve greatness!   Yes, for all those whom are doubtful.  The best successes come during your middle-age years.  Proudly so, I’m on the right track!


For all those reading these simple and imperfect words, never give up!  Don’t allow others to destroy your life.  Don’t listen to manipulative-negative people and their evil thoughts.  The world is full of them.  And never, absolutely never allow people to steal or take away your dreams.



Dedicated to Willie, youre always on my mind! (1970 – 2015)

About the author

Daniel Otero

A New Yorker who has been living in China for the past 10 years. He's a freelance writer/journalist and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

A former member of the military with extensive travel to 50 countries and has lived in six.

Lover of life, good food, travel, writing and dealing with social issues.