“What if?” Project – Helping Realists Become Dreamers

“Pumpkin Chunkin” – a Modern Family episode dealing with the idea that dreamers and realists need each other

Modern Family is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. I can always count on this show to bring me laughter and happiness on even the saddest or most tiring day. A lot of comedies usually have no plot and make no sense, (if you’ve ever watched Movie 43, you probably know what I mean), but Modern Family not only is able to showcase a lot of humor, but is also able to deliver important messages about family and life to its viewers.

In one episode, pictured at the very top, a split begins to occur between the more “realist” members and the more “dreamer” members of the family. They begin to blame each other (such as Phil, pictured to the right, blaming his wife for always stifling his creativity and crushing his dreams) and get mad at one another. Eventually, the realists and dreamers of the family both take sides over a issue about a Thanksgiving story. At the end of episode however, the family realizes that although realists and dreamers may disagree with each other on a lot of things, they really do need each other.

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I was able to realize this idea of how much dreamers and realists really do need each  other. I was always a dreamer when I was young, and because of it, my creativity and imagination were so powerful, and I was able to come up with a bunch of awesome ideas. However, as time went on, I began to become a realist, as I saw how much life sucked sometimes. When my AP English teacher mentioned a few weeks ago about a project that we would be carrying out over the course of this year, I immediately realized how much of a realist I had become. For this project, called the “What if? Innovation Project,” the students had to create or innovate something that could help the world in a certain way. It could be anything, big or small. To help us get ideas for this project, my teacher asked us a few questions to spark our minds. One of the questions he asked that really stuck out to me was, “Why do some people generate more ideas than others?”

What-if_I immediately thought of the idea of dreamers vs. realists that I saw in the Modern Family episode. Both realists and dreamers have dreams, but realists take things for granted or as they are much more than dreamers do. It’s just because they like to have a more practical and pragmatic view of the world. This isn’t necessarily bad, but sometimes, thinking outside of the box more and coming up with even the wildest ideas can help bring about change. Realists do not not necessarily have less creativity than dreamers, but dreamers are able to generate more ideas because they constantly ask “What if?”, something that this project is focusing on and something that our teacher probably wants us to ask more.  You never know what a single “What if?” could lead too…

I’m really glad I got this project. Even though it’s big and it’s probably going to be a lot of work, I feel like I’m able to reconnect with the “dreamer” side of myself by thinking outside of the box and expressing the creativity I have hidden underneath my realist layer. I feel like learning in school and getting experiences in life has made me become more and more of a realist. This may not be a bad thing, but every once in a a while, you need to touch your dreamer side too.

This leads me back to the Modern Family episode. At the end of the episode, Cam says a really amazing quote…

“There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not the opposite is true…

Dreamers and realists really do need other in this world. This project, which can be considered a “dreamer” idea, is helping both the dreamers, and especially the realists, to “get off the ground” and show off their true potential. Show what’s hidden inside. It’s a perfect time to let the creativity in everyone come to life.

-Jonathan

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