Spending the afternoon in the local coffee shop, Nat and I sit at our usual table with our laptops and cups of extra large coffee. Coming here to write and to drink the overpriced coffee, I sit back letting the words flow, and think of “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of great coffee”. Throughout this week I had been faced with tricky situations and conflict. The only way to deal with conflict in this age is to face it head first, and to talk. This is when I thought about my confrontational skills as a child. Fuelled with childlike innocence, I wondered when I inherently lost the ability to think in childlike apparitions, and had my innocence dwindle.
Are we innocent? is the adult life that we are living just a facade while we hold on to our final fragments of childlike innocence. Innocence is in direct correlation with exposure. With every experience we encounter, we are learning. We may not be learning algebra, or trigonometry, or how to calculate pi (I still do not know how), but we are travelling down the education system of our lives.
No one can be truly innocent. The only way for you to be 100% innocent in your adult life, is if you had been confined to four walls for all of eternity. Through every experience you encounter, you are inevtiably learning something new. Empiricism is the study of knowledge from a physical median. In other words, you have to experience life in order to affectively learn.
What is innocence to me? Innocence is a curse made to hold us back. We use the term as a scapegoat to avoid awkward conversations and unpleasent circumstances which may compromise our personal ethics. It all falls back to image vs. reality. Is it real? Are the images of innocence that we hold on to true, or are we just lying to prolong the effects? We grow out of believing in Santa Claus, yet why don’t we grow out of the broken images of modern innocence? We confuse the concept of innocence for naivety. The two usually go hand in hand, but without experience we are left to our own mind…not fully developed, yet in the search for knowledge.
Walking away and fighting the impending tears, I storm down the busy Toronto street. Pushing through the groups of sidewalk crawlers and midnight walkers, I pick up pace and begin to run. Mind racing and heart beating, the cold wind slaps my skin. It was then that it hit me. Stopping running, I stand there, dead in my tracks, I feel as if I had just hit a wall. Staring blankly at the busy street in front of me, I realize that I cannot go…I cannot leave him. Turning around, I run back to the place we left off. I run back to the person that I cannot ever walk away from. Looking right into his eyes, I realize what hit me…regret. If I walked away from him, this would be something I would regret for a lifetime. This is the first time we had to have this serious of a conversation. It wasn’t him, it was me. I was reverting back to the sense of fragility from last year, and feeling disconnected not just to him, but to the world around me. This time, I could not let the darkness take me, for it was not just me in this fight…I had him by my side.
I am not innocent for I am a millennial. We have witnessed the affects of terrorism, hatred, and violence. We have seen lost love, broken hearts and finding happiness after the pain. Through disease and intolerance we have stood at the boundary lines waiting for our chance to rise and be heard. We are not innocent. We are the new age, the new world who has seen such negativity that we were able to adapt and to seek peace and love. We have seen our parents fall, stand tall, and then find themselves. We are not reliant on the negativity, sexisim, and scapegoats in which society so quickly falls to. We know the problems with innocence. We see how it inhibits us to grow to our full potential, knowledgeable and powerful.
Innocence is what governs our decision and affects our personal morality. We let the misguided and broken images of innocence affect not only our decision making, but the relationships which we engage in. Why be held back by the blankness and unkowning of the world? Knowledge is power, and innocence is weakness. Mankind has searched for advancement and knowledge, and has encountered many dark years. History has broken the image of naivety and purged away their innocence. When we live in a world where white men murdered and killed aboriginals inhabitants for land, we cannot be so reliant on holding on to our innocence. The world is no longer innocent, and by holding onto these childlike apparitions, with covered eyes, we would be missing out on many of life’s greatest adventures.