World needs both idealists and realists

A view of Singapore's skyline.
A view of Singapore's skyline. PHOTO: REUTERS

If the progress of the world were left to only the realists, the professed experts or others with vested interests, the world would be in a sad and broken state (Important to inject dose of reality into idealism, by Mr Peter Kwan Hoa Kun, June 11).

Pragmatists see only what can be executed based on existent considerations, are limited by the constraints of imagination and costs, and are blind to the possibilities that abound once the artificial blinkers are removed.

Idealists are not merely dreamers whose heads are in the clouds.

They visualise better outcomes based on what can be achieved through lofty, yet not unachievable, aspirations.

Often, through their ambitious discernment, radical and paradigm changes are made.

And so it is with the remaking of Singapore's skyline, the restructuring of our nation's healthcare system through constant reappraisals of systems, techniques and materials, and the evolution of our transportation system, be it with the humble personal mobility device or science-fiction worthy technology.

Nothing needs to be left undiscussed and everyone, from the concerned layman to the entrenched savants, with a valid and interesting viewpoint should be given a platform to contribute.

Indeed, we should never allow anyone, even experts, to tell us that the dreams we cherish cannot materialise.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2019, with the headline 'World needs both idealists and realists'. Print Edition | Subscribe