The Normalcy of Naiveté
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Normalcy of Naiveté

Ignorance may be bliss but we shouldn't just accept that.

13
The Normalcy of Naiveté
Fred Bert

“To know that you do not know is the best.
To think you know when you do not is a disease.
Recognizing this disease as a disease is to be free of it.”
- Lao Tzu

There are a lot of words related to the term "naive": ignorant, innocent, callow, simple, the list of synonyms goes on. The theme of these words having a slightly negative twist on them, almost implying stupidity. I view the word in a more positive light, as in there's a chance to gain knowledge and save yourself from credulousness.

The realization of my own naiveté hit me last night in a strange way. It was past nine or ten when I went out with some friends to pick up a pizza. With thirty minutes to kill, we did the obvious thing and stepped into a department store to look around and goof off like the frivolous college students we are. Glancing at price tags and trying on coats I became acutely aware of how cold I felt. It was 40° outside and the only thing I had on was a pair of short boots and a mid length sweater dress that did not do the job of keeping me warm like sweaters are supposed to do. With a future of declining temperatures, I rationalized whether or not I should bite the bullet and purchase the coat I was trying on. In three days I'd be back home and able to pick up some of the clothing I already owned that was made for winter. Doing the checklist in my head though, the entirety of my winter wardrobe is a single heavy jacket made for annual ski trips, not an everyday coat. Thus, to the cashier I went, slightly bewildered by my ill-preparedness for the season.

Obviously, this is not some life-changing tale. I easily could've waited 72 hours and had my mom or dad take me to the store and buy a coat or something of that nature. There was no extreme urgency, no real penalty for either action, buying a jacket or not. There was just this strange feeling that washed over me when I found out that with all the preparations and plans I made over the summer for college, I made the crucial mistake of not thinking about the daily chill of wintertime.

I've lived on the South Carolina coast for the past 15 years or so. Most all of my developmental years were spent beach side. Though I was born in Pennsylvania, a fact I'm very proud to admit, I'm used to temperatures not dropping below 35° or so. I'm ready only to getting cold while visiting family and friends up north or going to the mountains for a two-day ski weekend, not to move upstate where there's a chance of actual snow during the week. Basically, I couldn't imagine living outside of the scope I grew up in: sun, heat, and sand.

This applies to all points of my life. My race, gender, sexuality, and social class puts a skewed outlook on my world. I've had times where there's something I've really want but knew I couldn't afford without working, but there's also been times when I didn't tear myself apart over what groceries to buy, or if I had clipped enough coupons to cover my needs. I've never had a racist comment slung at me, never felt like I was being judged for the color of my skin. There's so little in the world I've experienced compared to what other people put up with daily.

I am ignorant in many ways in the world. I am naive to the lives of so many people who live maybe just down the road from me. And I'm not the only one with this lack of knowledge. There are people younger and older than me who go on with their lives, never considering how they have chances and abilities that some others might only dream of. There's also extremely blessed people who use their life advantages to help others instead of just themselves.

It's important to put yourself in the life of another. Not just in the "walk a mile in my shoes" kind of way, but actually seriously consider how different your life could be if you had one major aspect change. Would you face discrimination or catcalls or even just judgmental looks?

Comedian Chelsea Peretti in her special "One of the Greats" makes a joke about how life is different for guys versus girls just from confidence alone.

"I just want to feel what it feels like to have male confidence(...) My fantasy of what it's like to be a guy is just that you wake up in the morning, and your eyes open, and you're just like, "I'M AWESOME! People probably want to hear what I have to say!" I mean, does that sound about accurate?"

Obviously this is a bit of a hyperbole, but at the same time I know what she's talking about. There's been times when I've been in a deep discussion or adding an important note to conversation when I've been cut off by a guy being louder than me. It feels like my contribution isn't taken seriously. Now, not all men are like that, I know. There's stereotypes on everyone about everything that are fought through all the time. I'm stating the reason Peretti's joke is so funny is due to its relatability with so many women.

With all the changes in the nation lately, it's important to pay attention to what's going on. You may not approve of the Black Lives Matter movement, but instead of just yelling "All lives matter!" back, take a second to think about why these protests are happening, what the foundation of it all is, then respond however you please. Now, that's just an extremely current event I'm using as an example. There's plenty of other worldly events happening that you can try to picture yourself in to better understand why people react the way they do.

Open your mind up to what's going on in the world. Read articles from opposing sides. Watch a documentary on a controversial subject. Enter into views unknown to you and take a deep breath.

It's time for us all to try something new.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

160110

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter what job you wish to pursue or where you'll end up in your career, writing will always be an invaluable skill.

Just ask Julia Waterbury, a former Odyssey creator and college graduate with a business degree, for whom this couldn't be more true! Though she began by using Odyssey as a creative outlet, she quickly learned it was so much more and soon was able to include her articles and skills (from writing and editing to SEO and social media marketing) to up her resume game.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

57770

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less

I haven't had sex since I lost my virginity at the end of my sophomore year of high school and now I'm a freshman in college, so I'd like to say I know a thing or two about not having sex. Here are four lessons I've learned over the last two years of abstinence.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

205672

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Last night on "The Bachelorette," Yosef (aka the guy who was accused of sliding into women's DMs before the show began filming) continued his streak of red flags by calling Clare "crazy."

To give you a little more context, this red flag happened after Clare got very upset with the guys on her group date for not making an effort to speak to her one-on-one when the opportunity arose and an awkward silence ensued. Because of this, she was clearly embarrassed and ended up having to ask them to ask her to go for a walk, which was... painful to watch (and probably to live out).

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

123517

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

The Best Air Fryers To Gift THAT Person In Your Life Who Always Cooks For You

I use mine more than my oven, toaster, and microwave combined.

1610
NBC

It took me a long time to understand what the point of an air fryer really was. Couldn't I just bake something and get the same consistency?

My opinions took a total 180 when several years ago my mom made some delicious, homemade crispy fries. I was shocked when she told me she made them in her air fryer. Without a single drop of oil, they felt crispy and indulgent, unlike anything I have been able to achieve in an oven.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Deleted Social Media For A Week And My Mood Instantly Improved

I removed the digital pressures from my life and it made a huge difference.

831

From the time I downloaded Instagram until now, the world that is social media has drastically changed. I remember being 13 years old and posting several pictures a day — whenever, whatever I wanted to. Whether it was an unedited selfie or a screenshot of somebody's Notes App with the caption "Repost for good luck!" my social media journey started out as casual and exciting.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

18 Of The Best 'The Bachelorette' Tweets That Perfectly Sum Up Season 16, Episode 2

"Cast an older bachelorette they said, she'll be more mature they said."

1764

"The Bachelorette" is FINALLY back, and season 16 is already off to a — dare I say it? — DRAMATIC start.

There is no fandom more involved and invested than Bachelor Nation, so naturally, viewers had A LOT of thoughts during last night's premiere. And honestly, the only thing more entertaining than watching a new episode of "The Bachelor" is following the live tweets fans post while it airs.

Keep Reading... Show less

As a teenage girl, I can safely say that a pregnancy scare is horrifying. I'm not one to say that becoming a young parent is bad, but for many, it is not the ideal situation to be in. Going through a pregnancy scare leads to a lot of unwanted worries until that period comes, or a test reads "positive."

Keep Reading... Show less

Being an inexperienced tumbler, I have had my fair share of mental blocks. There have been weeks where I can't even do a back walkover properly — I tense up and freeze. I thought that saying that my mental block wasn't real would make it go away, but it didn't. The reason? I didn't believe it. I just said it and hoped for the best, all while knowing that I wasn't going to do whatever skill I was struggling with. It frustrated me and made me so insecure about the progress I was making even when I was told that I was doing well. All I saw were the mistakes and times I didn't try at all.

Keep Reading... Show less

Struggling to find the perfect Halloween costume? No worries, just think of all your exes. I know it is frightening, but that's what makes it the PERFECT Halloween costume.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

The Spooky Dating Drinking Game To Get Boo-zed Up With Your Pumpkin This Halloween

Beware: you'll be summoning the ghosts of exes past.

12473

Halloween 2020 is going to be pretty different, but that doesn't mean the ghost stories have to social distance themselves. In fact, after a year like this one, what's a few more horror stories to add to the mix? If you and your partner dare, this boo-zy drinking game will definitely add a little spook into your All Hallows' Eve plans. Think you're brave enough to share your scariest dating stories with your pumpkin this October 31? You've come to the right spot.

This is the Ultimate Spooky Dating Drinking Game. Here's how it works:

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments