Innocence and Influence (refurbished blog from MySpace 10-26-07)

I see her reaching out for acceptance…isn’t that always it? Let’s really look at this, does anyone really like their first taste of beer? No. It’s an acquired taste – you have to work to get past the bitter beer face. So why do we do it? It’s the allure of experience. I guess it would be pompous of me to say I’m passed that. But I do remember a time right after high school when I felt like I was only living on the surface of life because I hadn’t experienced all these things that the people around me had. I absolutely HATED that.

Innocence is a term that describes the lack of guilt of an individual, with respect to a crime. It may also be used to indicate a general lack of guilt, with respect to any kind of crime, sin, or wrongdoing. It can also refer to a state of unknowing, where one’s experience is lesser, in either a relative view to social peers, or by an absolute comparison to a more common normative scale. In contrast to ignorance, it is generally viewed as a positive term, connoting a blissfully positive view of the world, in particular one where the lack of knowledge stems from a lack of wrongdoing, whereas greater knowledge comes from doing wrong. This connotation may be connected with a popular false etymology explaining “innocent” as meaning “not knowing”

If you don’t believe in the story of Adam and Eve, I don’t see how you can’t after going through this in life. Why do you think the apple was SO attractive?? Because it was the knowledge of good and evil. Experience is hot. Innocence is not. If you’re innocent then you will ado whatever it takes to get people around you to think “Oh he/she’s not that innocent. He/she has done some stuff,” and by STUFF it has to be shocking. Drugs is the best one. What better way to get the upper hand socially then to have someone underestimate you by thinking you’re  a squeaky clean church person and then find out you have done some “stuff”.

Well I’m calling bullshit. I have the advantage of having gone through this phase to get this vantage point. The vantage point that says – in the end innocence really is hotter. Integrity, honesty, wisdom, kindness, patience are MORE attractive than “stuff”. Not someone who has naively stayed in their bedroom to avoid the world. But someone who is powerful…someone who is legendary and irreplaceable, is someone who was there rubbing elbows with people doing “stuff” and had the strength to say no. Without being judgmental, they have been to the far reaches of “experience” weather it be sex, drugs, drinking, stealing…. they have been in a situation where they could do it and the made the right decision. The right decision is ALWAYS the harder decision. They risk rejection and feeling stupid and feeling like the least experienced person in the room.

If someone had told me this in my first year of college I would have plugged my ears. And that’s the sad thing, I was not looking for wisdom then, only experience. And no matter what some older person could have told me then, I HAD to try it on my own. Thank God I had the sense to stay at least moderate.

Influence: I have been reading Chasing Daylight (Seizing Your Divine Moment) by Irwin McManus and there is a chapter on influence. Influence is MUCH more powerful than authority. If someone in authority tells you “don’t do drugs” you’re like whatever. But if someone has INFLUENCE over you – then you won’t want to. And so that is the one thing I hope to achieve…influence. It’s hard. I want most of all to influence people to look toward God, to seek wisdom. Proverbs tells us to seek wisdom above everything, to seek it like we wold gold or silver. Let’s quit getting mixed up in what we desire: experience (as in “stuff”), or wisdom.  ”…so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matt. 10:16.

One more thing, experience isn’t a bad thing (but you understand in what context I meant it). You can break into much deeper things in life that are much more healthy, beneficial and wise.


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