I despise the word "naïve." It has been leveled at me, from time to time, by individuals who thought they were helping me in some way. In reality, when you toss that word around, you're really using your big girl words to insult someone, to put them in their place. I think that my often enthusiastic nature, coupled with a genuine desire to help people, is often mistaken for a lack of experience, knowledge or general stupidity. In some parts of my career, I think it's been interpreted as phoniness, but over time, everybody comes to realize my true intent.
The only way I think I'm at all naïve is that I'm still periodically surprised when I encounter shitty attitudes or actions in humans around me. I have this Pollyanna philosophy that if you're part of a team, each of the members will want to work together - if not for the greater good, than to at least save face to a superior. I really want to believe that when you ask for help, when you're encouraged to do so, that someone will actually help you. Whenever I'm proven wrong, I'm disappointed and sad, and a bit miffed, too.
More than for myself though, for my kids. We've raised them to be kind, generous, loving, helpful ... and they're all that and more. I worry that the world will take advantage of their kindness, will look down on it. By providing them a guide to a moral victory, have we left them bereft of reality?
These musings on a rough couple of days, led to a mama lecture on the true nature of the world during dinner at the Pizzeria Uno's tonight. Nothing aids your digestion like your mother soberly trying to prepare you for the future.