Loss of Innocense

Lately its Innocence vs Experience that has me confounded. This isn’t by any means a new conundrum on the table in my pondering, just at forefront right now. The question is, which is more sought after? And which should be more sought after? My issue is because I often find myself powerfully attracted to either one in people, yet they are diametrically opposed (in the sense that I’m referring to them). So what should I wish for?

Innocence is so beautiful, comfortable, clean and straight forward. Innocence is a day of hard work followed by a night of deep rest and waking up guilt free the next day. Innocence and purity aren’t the same thing but they go hand-in-hand. Innocence at its peak is us without sin. Its humanity in the Creator’s will.

Sometimes I watch little children & think that, at some point, they’re going to make choices…not necessarily wrong or bad choices, but ones that will change them forever. Some choices will make them open to making worse choices later on. Or their friends will do something that will make them think its OK. In school peer pressure will make them do things they know are wrong. They will build up experiences that scar them.

And then the less experienced kids (even if its just a perceived lack of experience), will feel uninteresting unless they “catch up”. I think that phase can start in middle or high school & go through college & even later. Kids brought up in strict environments will feel like they have been released from a cage when they get to college.

I’ve seen it happen a million times, but know it deepest because I did the same thing. When I got to college I did stupid things because I felt like a child around all these experienced “adults”. As it turns out, though, people make fun of you for being inexperienced, but they couldn’t care less how experienced you are. They will all talk about getting high & make you feel small and push you and push, but when you’re holding the joint you’re left alone. Alone with the consequences, alone with stain it has left on your life. Having been drunk doesn’t make you cool, but you’re a laughing stalk if you’ve never felt a buzz. I wish I knew then what I know now, that I am happier for the sinful things I didn’t do than all the “experience” gained through things I did do.

I wish I could be there for kids, or young adults at the crux of those decisions to…I don’t know…coach them..or influence them or whatever it takes to help them make the right choice. I wish I could tell them “You don’t have to sleep around, get drunk, experiment with drugs,”… I’m not against tattoos, but I just see so many people getting one more as some type of initiation than getting something that looks good or has some meaning.

There is some allure to an experienced individual. I can’t seem to make sense of that in my paradigm: that innocence is the right way. I don’t understand it. But one day I think all of us will see how right innocence was & wish we’d tried harder to be pure instead of “experienced”.

"Before So Many Wrong Choices"
My brother & I in front of mom's garden, 1982

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