Antonio Gramsci said that the main challenge of living in the modern world was to be able to live without illusion without becoming disillusioned. So the question I ask, aims to interrogate this issue, by reflecting on my personal perspective as a post-graduate student studying relationships between nature and society. Over the years, the increasing amount of knowledge that I have acquired about ‘social problems’ or ‘environmental challenges’ has accumulated. Whilst this has been a great journey of insight, and spurred on a passion for social change it has also created a sense of overwhelming helplessness about what can be done to tackle such complex global issues. My piece aims to think critically about this and the idea of becoming disillusioned, whilst provoking debate about current societal affairs.