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Cultivating A Second Naivety

seconde naïveté

Aging leads to an inevitable loss of our innocence. It is normal to learn and to become someone by saying goodbye to the child we were. However, we often simply learn to become like others. By social necessity, we melt into the mass and adopt the habits and customs of our fellow human beings, it is a survival strategy like any other. However, there is another quest that should not be neglected, that of becoming again who we were in spite of the conditioning and the conformism of which we were the fruit.
The return to oneself implies reconnecting to one’s source, which requires learning a second naivety, i.e. seeing the world with the spirit of a beginner, with a form of purity, in short with the eyes of a child but in an adult body.

The trauma that we have undoubtedly undergone at the end of our adolescence leaves traces and it is not so easy to recover our innocence when we have lost it in an abrupt or violent way. Without a real will to find a form of purity, we can lose forever what once made our essence, our brilliance, our uniqueness. To end the conformism in which we all bathe a little because life is like that, we must reconnect with a form of solitude or cultivate a talent that we had when we were children and that we had finally abandoned. In doing so, we have the opportunity to rediscover who we used to be and to deepen what makes us special. To be able to give more brilliance to our personality, it is paradoxically necessary to put ourselves a little in retreat or even in withdrawal.

The second naivety implies to re-tame ourselves by a contact with the sensitive, with nature and to flee a little the human world or at least the worldliness. To reconnect with others, one must first reconnect with oneself, and to reconnect with oneself, one must distance oneself from the crowd and the people.
To appreciate a world of quality, we must dare to move away from quantity which often implies only superficiality.

It is not easy to look at the world with fresh eyes: our past experiences act as filters that distort what we see. In the end, what we see is ourselves and our own attachments. On the contrary, when we are devoid of opacity, we are able to seize the moment as the polished diamond lets the light shine through. To do this, we must reconnect with the virtues of the child, those that he naturally possesses and that he loses as he grows up: benevolence, sincerity, a sense of justice, joy of living and the absence of ego. A child is pure because he is not overly self-aware and interacts with people in a simple way without knowledge of social conventions.

The idea is not to become a child again, which could be both ridiculous or even regressive when you are an adult. Instead, you have to find inspiration in the child by interpreting his qualities in the manner of a painter who with his brush is inspired by the landscape he contemplates to make it a work of art in its own right.

The problem with adults is that they believe they are fundamentally different from children and we can say that all the evils of the world are born from this desire to distinguish themselves from children in order to be men or women (war, sexual violence etc.). If the qualities of children were put back in the center of social life, there would be less clashes because we would be able to convey essential values that unite people and make society a huge playground.

The second naivety is to embody certain qualities of the child in everyday life. For example, a child usually obeys his or her parents wisely, unlike a teenager. Why not do the same from time to time with his parents? Listen to them without flinching, without always wanting to prove that you are right and that your decisions are wrong. This is not gullible obedience, but rather a form of flexibility and humility that we forget as we grow up. Talking to people as equals and forgetting their profession (i.e. their social status) is also the mark of a second naivety. Finally, managing to ignore conventions, people’s vanity, and the superfluous in order to look at the world in an equanimous way is what we could call a newfound naivety, and it is within the reach of all those who decide not to feel superior to others.

This approach can be difficult because unconsciously, what we seek most in our professional lives is recognition and gratification beyond even our salary. This race for honors makes it difficult to accept the equality of nature between humans since we adhere to the idea that there are some more deserving than others, starting with ourselves.

If it is impossible to cultivate humility in our work, we must do it in another sphere of our life if we want to reconnect with the second naivety. It can be in our family life or in our leisure time, but the result will be only imperfect. Indeed, the second naivety is more than a circumstantial attitude, it is a philosophy of life and does not admit any border or limit if it wants to be exploited with its full potential.

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