Don’t Assume Innocence Is an Obstacle to Wisdom

A lot of young people toss their youthful optimism, playfulness, and their moral idealism out the window at a certain age because they believe that “wisdom” requires it.

Now it’s true that in many cases wisdom requires us to surrender our naive optimisms. We have to accept, for example, that victories require constant work – you can’t just win once and coast on greatness.

But preemptively giving up on the innocence of youth because people told you to do it? This is assuming a lot about the nature of wisdom (which is not a wise thing to do).

Maybe we should test and see instead. A lot of what I’m doing when I’m trolling the world with positivity is that testing. I’m pushing the boundaries of innocence and wisdom to see how far innocence can be taken and to see where the two can peacefully co-exist.

Once innocence is gone, it usually doesn’t come back. Find out how much of it you actually *need* to give up to live with wisdom. Keep as much of the rest as you can.

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

Stay in the know.

Get my best new essays and other occasional news, ideas, or projects delivered in nice, tidy packages once weekly.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.