TOPICS: Staying naive

“I plan to enrol in a rap college in US after my SLC”, said an enthusiastic teenager I met in a poetry workshop last month. I was perplexed. I wondered if it was even a valid dream.

Seconds later, I couldn’t help but appreciate the beauty of his naivety. Throughout the workshop, I saw how passionate he was for the art of rap and how naïve he was. He had enormous zeal, hope and energy to pursue his dream.

In our society his plan would have made most of us cringe with disapproval. Into my mid-20s, it struck me how I had already prejudiced the potential of a life. Perhaps, in trying to fit into proper validity and conventionality, many of us are already over-correcting ourselves.

Every person, at their naivety, at the start of their lives, studies and job or even at the dawn of every single day, holds enormous energy and is highly malleable. Of course, one feels nervous and diffident. But in this nascent stage, one who channels the energy well derives most of it.

On the contrary, if the enthusiasm is over-powered by insecurities, fear of judgment and consistent low confidence, then, naivety is nipped in the bud, bit by bit.

Naivety is a great teacher and a greater self. One is not necessarily at one’s best and may not be proud of it. But the person need not feel intimidated or ashamed of it. There is no point in hiding naivety. In fact, a person learns the most when he/she is most vulnerable.

Being naïve means staying innocent. And that is a blessing. As we move on with our studies, job or whatsoever, we tend to be more ‘practical’. Disguised by being conventional, we distort ourselves into bits and pieces of others’ perspectives, expectations and way of dealing with challenges.

Thus, eventually, a person is inclined to limit himself/herself by over-thinking, over-correcting and by being over-conscious.

If we wrote journals of what we expect from ourselves in our maiden days of a job or a semester, and if we read it by mid-term or end of it, we are likely to find reading a different person. And we will be left wondering what the happened!

If guided away from stupidity, naivety is indeed innocence with huge positive potential. We need to stay naive, yet still stay open to perspectives. We need to be flexible to both conformity and innovative ways and not be too apologetic for who we really are and who we really want to be.