Something dawned on me the other day. It happened indoors, so it is not even attributable to being out in nature, as is usually the case. The idea crossed my mind that I like knowing. Curiosity does exist as part of our human nature, and we can choose to view it as a definite blessing in life.
If we are mindful, we find that it often does not take a lot of work to find out information. Most days, little interactions take place, dots are connected, and they enable us to glean more about life or what we need to know. Need to know…that is a big discovery right there. --the idea that if “I” need to know something, it presents itself.
It is reminiscent of the old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Actually, it was a little more than a cursory awareness of that saying. The feeling ran deep within that this “need” existed that had to be met.
How many of us, maybe for quite a long time in our current existence, could be labeled, “happily naïve?” We are just okay with not knowing; feeling we know enough. There is no “need” to find out any more, thank you. Blissfully fine with however the way things go, following one distraction after another and never really having that grounded sense of connection, time passes by in days, months, and years.
We watch the news and feel it is enough to know what is going on. We could exist this way for quite a while, easily, being happily naïve. The idea that we might also be gullible, susceptible, or vulnerable in any way might never cross our mind. Why would it when we feel so self-satisfied?
How, why, and where we meet up with truth can be a tricky thing. Most of us may not even be actively seeking it, while there are those who have dedicated their lives to critical thinking and the search to find some great life lesson. For some of us, awakening to the dawn of insight can be a gentle experience, while for others a live or repressed trauma triggers it.
It does take a bit of reflection and analysis to ‘figure out’ that some bit of information is going to be of use, or that it adds to the knowledge base of our understanding. Going through life happily naïve may look like an easy way to be. We do not need to know “everything. “ Yet, we run a certain risk when we try to balance our knowledge and information against practical experience.
While we do not like feeling as though we are gullible, perhaps we were told somewhere along the road of our education that there is a limit to what we ‘need’ to know and we settled for that? Many of us do take classes or attend trainings as adults without considering the added information as ‘human development.’ However, the time does come when the ‘need to know’ kicks in and jump-starts the desire to learn.
Some work professions require an amount of instruction (known as “professional development”) in order to remain certified or maintain a license to practice. Laws, rules, and regulations change all the time. We develop different methods, new procedures, or may add machinery to perform some task. There can be any number of reasons why we must ‘learn more than what we know now.’
How many of us consider that we, as general human beings, also require a regular amount of education? From where does it come? Do we take it upon ourselves to seek out what we need, or are we told what to pursue? Are we listening when it comes to how best to raise ourselves up from our current level of understanding?
We can face the truth--we would become stagnant without new information and ways of doing things. We would have nothing about which to be curious. How awful would that be? Think of all the many important or life-changing things created over the last ten or 20 years, and then imagine what it would be like not to have them.
“Those are just things,” you may say to yourself. “They come and go.” --And you are right--things certainly do have a way of coming into fashion and fading away. That is the way of the world, change.
Even more important than change, perhaps, is the information found in experience. Once we have been through an experience together, we are transformed. Our life is altered and cannot return to what it was before, no matter how much we try.
We may wish to be able to go back in time, but we cannot undo what is done. We cannot “un-know” an experience. In looking back reflectively, we can attempt to find acceptance and peace. However, some of us have been through some pretty awful and traumatic experiences. Achieving peace and equanimity is not always easy to do within the confines of one’s own, stifled existence.
Each experience, good and bad alike, are what make us who we are. We must be ready, if not eager, to recognize and add to our experiences instead of remaining happily naïve. Whether we ‘need’ to know it or not, the knowledge we receive from life is ultimately shared, in a wonderful way, with others--often out of choice. We make those choices that give us happiness, while lessons are what enable us to make even better choices.
Happily naïve…it can be a nice way to be for a while. It may feel like going away on vacation. Staying that way can cause us to fall short of living up to our true potential.
For our consideration. ~ Namaste ~ Blessings!
Kathy Custren is a mother of four, who strives for balance and has a deep respect for All. Interests include advocacy, the arts, communication, education, health, humanity's cosmic origins, nature, philosophy, spirituality and wellness. Visit her page "Consciousness Live" on Facebook, and her site at kathyc-mindblogger.blogspot.com.