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Why idealism?

Great changes in the world also demands large sacrifices, all driven by idealism

Text: Marit Kjærvik Photo: fotogjengen.samfundet.no Date: 2013-02-17

During the last ten days, ISFiT has raised many questions and discussed many solutions. Corruption, green economy and the global trade market are some of the themes that have been discussed on the previous plenary sessions, and great personalities have presented their view on the different cases. The change towards a better world does not come easily, and there are numerous examples of people that have sacrificed a lot in the name of a greater cause. The last plenary session of ISFiT 2013 took a closer look at the phenomena behind these actions, namely idealism.

The key is dialogue

Being a Palestinian member of the Lutheran church and living in Jerusalem, the bishop Munib Younan is not situated in an easy corner of the world. Instead of choosing sides in a very difficult conflict, he devoted his life to work for dialogue and peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel. At the plenary session, the bishop talked warmly about cultural diversity and the importance of respecting each other, across borders and religions. – Love god, love your neighbour and love your enemy, was his message.

He finally received his award

The other speaker of the night was Min Ko Naing, who won the Student Peace Prize in 2001 for his work for a democratic Burma. Because of his engagement, he was imprisoned for 20 year, and was not able to receive the prize in 2001. After his release in 2012 he continued his work and finally got the opportunity to visit Trondheim. The audience was cheering as he received a proof of his achievements. Min Ko Naing is one example of many brave students who have sacrificed a lot in the name of human rights, and it is also a reminder of how privileged the students in the audience is. – The Norwegian students cannot understand the word sacrifice, he stated.

Why are they doing this?

In spite of speakers that have achieved a lot in the name of idealism and good questions from the audience, the audience never got a concluding answer to what are the driving forces behind idealism. This, however, might be the just as good as any answer. The question itself can be absurd for many idealists; if you truly believe in a cause, it is worth fighting for—no matter what.