-showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment.
Oh to be Naïve.
Twice in a matter of hours I have been described as such.
See here’s the thing. People are quick to label the things which they do not understand. To categorize and file away the things that do not make sense, in an attempt to force them to fit. I do not fit. I will not fit into the forms you are trying to put me.
I am not blind or ignorant the evils of this world. I have felt evils hot breath on my cheek. I’ve mingled with the pain and the ferocity of such evil in the throes of its wake. I have taunted and tasted it. I’ve looked it in its glairing eyes. I am not naïve, I am aware.
My friends, there is a very dark and detached world surrounding us. Evil has not simply appeared suddenly and surprised us. Evil is in all of us; a sprinkle in some and a laden spirit in others. Evil grows and festers until it cannot be withheld, overflowing into the energy around us. Evil causes pain in an abundance of forms. It comes to some as a cruel savior. Someone you grow to trust and to love who only reciprocates that love with callous words, bruises and broken bones. It comes from hearts void of compassion and starved from love which then takes the lives of those we love. It starts as a seed in a fragmentary woman that staves herself of appreciation until it grows through her heart and consumes her soul. Evil is bred into congregations with religious doctrine until there is nothing to see but fear. It’s a man who leads a movement founded on the hatred of a people; a woman who kills and murders her way into the welcoming embrace of those around her on her climb to the top.
I am not at all innocent to the unrelenting forms of evil and pain. I have seen firsthand the eyes of a man who only wants to take from you, who uses you as if you are nothing and then casts you aside to wilt. I have watched as the blood stopped moving in the veins of an innocent child and a cloud formed over the eyes of that child’s parents; clouds of hatred and revenge.
I know that there are people in this world who hate my country. People who would like nothing more than to walk our streets and use our citizens however they see fit. People who wish to rape, plunder, and torment the freedoms of our nation. I have known people that relish in the perverse torturing of others. I have been “put in my place” by lovers who were anything but. I’ve mutilated my own flesh at times in the past; held captive by that which can only be described as an inexorable retention of evil.
I know all of this. I know that there is evil even beyond that which I care to speak or imagine.
But it’s what we do with this knowledge of evil that matters.
Some may call me naive because I refuse to give in to the natures of evil and negative energy. Because my instinct is to not run, but to nurture, I am labeled as incompetent. What they don’t understand is that while I have seen the decay and destruction of evil, I have also felt the joy and jubilance of love and pure goodness. I have seen a newborn takes its first breath of this world. I have tasted ecstasy and passion. I’ve watched broken, beaten women find themselves and become whole again. I have witnessed a foal frolic in the warm sun. I’ve felt the solace of a warm summer rain dripping down my spine while locked in the embrace of my soulmate. I’ve listened to addicts tell stories of recovery and how they rebuilt from nothing. I’ve watched victims become survivors and advocates. I’ve felt the thunder in a horse’s hooves as it flew across a wide green field, unrestrained and free.
The sun still rises each morning and the moon still chases it at night. Leaves still grow on trees and roots latch on to Mother Earth as they grow strong. Birds sing and kittens purr. Ice cream can still come with sprinkles. Sand exfoliates our skin as salt air cleanses our minds. Families hold each other tight and friends become lovers. Artists bring imagination to life and fill us with beauty. Diversity surrounds us keeping us well rounded. New jobs, new friends, new cities are always around the corner. Leaves fall off of trees in autumn giving us a kaleidoscope of nature to enjoy every year. There is a bounty of good in this world.
Just as evil takes time to grow, good does too.
If you water a seedling and give it good soil, it grows. That is how I look at life. I have a choice to either lament in a cold feeling, or I can tend to the broken and help repair it. We all have this choice. We can give in to the negatives of this world and allow it to burden our hearts until all we see is the evil we hate. Or, we can fight it with love and compassion. We grow the good by feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. We reach out to the unwanted and the deplorable and we help them grow the good in their own hearts. We can teach the ignorant and tend to the ill.
I am not saying that good will always win over evil. I know it won’t. But what is life worth if we do not take every advantage to spread light and positivity?
Sure, sometimes it is safer to stay unbidden and to focus on the closest issues at hand. It can feel good to stay wrapped up in our protective shells and to build walls around ourselves so that we feel less threatened. But in doing this, we risk losing a little bit of light. Sometimes that little bit of light is all someone else needs to ignite the world and set it ablaze with glory and greatness. I fully believe that we as humans, no matter your religions or your creed, should always strive to give good the greatest chance.
Choosing to recognize the bad things in this world and still seeing the good, still working for more good, still continuing to fight for the hearts of the world does not make me naive.
Not at all.
I want to challenge you. If you’ve taken the time to read this, then do me one more favor and pause for a moment. Consider these words. Consider all of it and decide for yourself if you are going to fight for the good and help grow it, or if you are going to let bad, incorrigible acts and minds hold you still in a place of fear and/or hatred.
I know where I stand.