Life as it is… or life as it should be?
Many years ago, I was part of a group that periodically required me to do a monologue in front of others. One that worked particularly well for me was from the musical Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman.
The piece I did was not written as a monologue but rather a lengthy reply in a dialogue.
In it, Miguel de Cervantes was answering the accusation that he and his character Don Quixote were a danger to the world because of their idealism and that Cervantes was as mad as his character. His reply was just the right length and the right drama for a short monologue.
I am not going to reproduce the piece here, but if you are interested I encourage you to find a clip from the movie or from the recording (I think it is on the soundtrack) and listen to it.
The accuser of Cervantes is a character who is a pragmatist, a self-described “realist” who finds Don Quixote a serious offender to humanity and reality. His strongest admonition is for Quixote (and, thus, Cervantes) to see life as it is.
Cervantes’ reply addresses his own history of sufferings, the atrocities he has personally witnessed, and the harsh realities of life among the poor, the wealthy, and the in-between.
He concludes that reality is much over-rated and ends with the line: “and maddest of all, is seeing life ‘as it is’ and not as it should be!”
Which way do you see life? “As it is” or “as it should be”?