Naivety as a return to childhood
Naivety is linked to childhood, it’s in its nature. Indeed, the word naïve comes from the Latin “nativus”, which means naïve, birth, natural, innate and therefore given by nature. The dictionary defines naivety as “Simplicity, natural grace marked by trust and sincerity.” In this sense, it’s rather positive. It expresses a certain freshness of childhood, a time when the darkness of life hasn’t taken much hold on us yet. It’s a different way of looking at the world, but it doesn’t stop intelligence, thought and creativity.
Naivety and intelligence: They go hand in hand!
Gullible and simple are synonymous with naïve, and we won’t lie, naïve people can be annoying because of their innocence, their tendency to believe everything they’re told and their exaggerated trust in others. Yes, but innocence doesn’t stop them understanding things. What if it was just another way of seeing the world?
Naivety can be a kind of open-mindedness about the world, but above all the capacity to be amazed by nothing, not to be blasé, to be light-hearted, frank and also have an innocence that allows creativity to increase tenfold. Many artists and scientists try, experiment, discover simply with this way of looking at the world differently. Who else but the naïve would believe in improbable theories, take the plunge and realize that it could work?
Who else but the naïve would believe in improbable theories, take the plunge and realize that it could work?
The sometimes harmful consequences of naivety?
So is naivety a quality to be exploited? That remains to be proven. If I tend to think that my naivety protects me from the most despicable part of human nature, some might think that I’m just a coward. That under the guise of trusting and being too nice, I actually avoid confronting others. I have to admit: it’s not entirely untrue. With naivety, I’m always in a defensive position. A naïve adult has not only kept their childlike soul, they also don’t want to know about the imperfections, the shortcomings, the inadequacy of the world, of others and of themselves.
Too naïve, should we do something about it?
And naivety is above all a matter of trust. People are surprised, they often even reproach me for the absolute trust I have in my partner. Distrust isn’t in my DNA. Instead of waiting to trust, I trust him assuming that everyone deserves to be trusted, and if they don’t, I withdraw it. No mistake, I’m well aware that not everyone is always well-intentioned, but I prefer to take the risk and think they might be, rather than be continually suspicious. Of course, the problem is that there is a greater risk of being manipulated, disappointed or hurt. Naivety can make me a victim, and I’ve undoubtedly been one before… but as I told you, I’m naïve, not stupid…
So I learn from my mistakes. People ask me to lend them money and don’t give it back, they get me to talk about my life to start rumors about me, they offer me an open relationship just to see if the grass is greener somewhere else before walking away from me. Now I know. I anticipate, I’m a little warier, I think about things more and above all, I’m not quite so nice and learn to say no. However, even though I know that cruelty, nastiness and selfishness exist, I prefer to stay optimistic. For me, the world will remain a good place to live as long as I’m not cynical… or in denial! Naivety must be used to cover some walls with pink paint, but not all of them can be. It must be enlightened and not be used as a pretence to avoid facing life.
Editor’s note: Be aware of it
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re naïve, if you’ve kept that part of childhood that prevents you from sinking into cynicism. The important thing is not to make anyone suffer, starting with yourself. Whether it’s a flaw or a quality (up to you to decide), naivety must be conscious. Allowing yourself to believe in the possible and the impossible, avoiding some suffering, why not? But one day or another, naïve or not, we all have to face reality as it is. We can’t always hide with a smile on our faces, otherwise life has taught us nothing. Protecting yourself from the world also means understanding the world.
🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!
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