An optimist, a realist, and an idealist walk into an open house. 

The optimist looks at the shattered windows and says to themselves: “What a wonderful way to let light in, I’ll leave it that way!” 

The realist looks at the molding walls and says out loud: “This house will never be inhibitable.” 

The idealist, however, looks at the broken fixtures, the flooded floors, and the faulty electricity and see a home. They see a kitchen where no one will ever go hungry. They see a foyer where every guest — of every shape and size — will be welcomed with love. The idealist looks at the flaws and faults of this abandoned house and think, “This can be fixed. This can be beautiful. We can make this into something beautiful.”

For most of my life, I’ve always been something of an idealist: someone who’s not blinded from the truth, but also someone who’s not hindered by it. I do not accept apocalypses or endings, only tomorrows and new beginnings. For the past seven years of my life, I have lived by this mantra of fighting for a world that’s worth living in. Not because it’s easy, but like any idealist, I see something great and attainable because we have the power to make it so. 

I admit, some days, it is a little harder to see that hope. In the past 365 days alone, we have seen massive horrors sweep over our beloved planet: natural disasters, mass shootings, violent bombings, and more. Most of us have loved and lost. Some days, it takes me a little bit longer to remember that it is infinitely more worthwhile to fight for something than to stand for nothing. And most days, the effort will be exhausting and difficult. 

But every day — without fail — I wake up believing in something. I believe that there is nothing so broken that it cannot be saved. I believe that a little bit of kindness goes a long way. I believe that anyone and everyone has the potential to save a little piece of the Earth. These are the truths that I hold in my heart because knowing that we have the power to be incredible is what wakes me up in the morning. 

This world is a house that can be a home. We just have some work to do first.