Utopia is a great place to go.
Literally, coming from ancient Greek (yes, this too) “u-topia” means non-place. So, in the common understanding, it means a non-existing place, somewhere where it would be absurd to go!
But what if you just added a little “yet”? A place non-existing “yet”? All changes!
All the great leaders headed to utopia, they depicted it in vivid colours, showed the way or -even better- opened the way.
They explained it clearly: this place doesn’t exist yet. That’s why we are going to create it. No tricks, the plain truth.
People bought their vision and made it possible.
I’m thinking of Mahatma Gandhi, of Martin Luther King, of Nelson Mandela.
They didn’t pretend to be realistic, they used words like “vision” or “dream” and they created what previously was just utopia. Because nothing would change or come to existence if it were not created in the imagination first.
I looked on the web for a map of Utopia. Surprisingly enough, I found many … and from different ages!
And I found this quote by Oscar Wilde:
“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.”
Speaking of “real” maps, I came across the beautiful “Map of Humanity” by James Turner.
On it, the island of Utopia lays just halfway between the continents of Wisdom and Reason in the Oceanus Procellarum.
I realized that he was making an interesting point here: to reach Utopia you have to cross the ocean of storms. Well, not exactly a stroll in the park!
So, the reward of reaching Utopia is for the brave ones, the determinate ones, the resilient ones. As Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Well, we are not Gandhi…
The good news is: when the way is open, when the first man or woman reaches Utopia – be him a leader, an explorer, a scientist, a philosopher- Utopia is not Utopia anymore, it becomes a real place, open to all.
That’s why people on a trip to Utopia have all my respect: they are generous, they are opening a way for us all.
To know more about my personal journey to utopia…