I had an interesting conversation the other day. It started by me mentioning that if you want to see something then you will see it. I meant this in regard to the law at first. I said that the business of law is to find crime. As a result, it can turn anything into a crime and it can make any issue a legal issue. It can see it in anything. I pointed out that there are many occupations out there that has the business to see certain things. As a result, they begin to see them in everything. The law finds crime, police find criminals, the military see’s threats, etc. Oftentimes, these are all in there own minds and don’t exist in actuality. As a result of this point of view an illusion is created that does not, in fact, really exist. It only appears to exist.
Accordingly, if someone wants to see the bad in life they will see it. Everywhere they will turn there will be something bad. In the same way, if all a person wants to see is good then that is what they will see, everywhere they turn. These are just flipsides of the same point of view.
All these perspectives are variations of naiveness, I think. There is a limited scope of vision in things. There is also show a lack of getting the ‘complete picture’. But, more importantly, it shows an intentional narrowing, of deliberately looking for something at the expense of everything else.
In reality, we are all naive in life. There’s no way we can totally get the ‘complete picture’. This means that naiveness is typical with the human condition.
What does this mean? We need to respect it. It’s not as bad as its normally portrayed. When we speak of being naive its usually a result of the bad aspects of it. But being naive isn’t all bad. There can be great strengths with it. Being naive makes life manageable and focused, I think. It helps us so we don’t get overwelmed by life. It also makes us so we don’t worry or concern ourselves about unnecessary things. In this way, it decreases stress.
But, at the same time, being naive can make us very narrow minded and shallow. In fact, it can make us sort of ‘dumb’ in life as we are unable to ‘grasp’ a lot of things in life. It can give us limited scope in life and make us look at things in a biased way. Bias, in a way, is often nothing but a naiveness. Being naive can make it so we don’t look at or accept certain things. As a result, it can make us sort of stubborn.
The question, then, is not that we are naive (as we all are) but the way in which we are naive. We need to be naive about the right things for the right reasons. This is just a variation of saying that we need to know the right things for the right reasons. Either way, it shows that there is an ‘intelligence’ in knowing what to know and not know (naiveness). Often, this is a question of emphasis, what you emphasize and don’t emphasize. In the end, what you choose to know and don’t know often reflects what you deem important in life. It reflects how you view life.
People tend to live to different standards. What one person deems important is not necessarily what another deems important, which can make that person appear ‘naive’. This shows that the perception of what consistutes ‘naiveness’ is dependent on what you deem important in life. It shows that it is definately true that what a person views as important knowledge and non important knowledge is very subjective and dependent on life views.