I remember innocence. I remember a time where I believe in the best in people. A time when I didn’t think everyone was a rapist, murderer, or pedophile.
In high school, we had an outing where we all spent the afternoon at a park. My friends and I got bored after awhile and decided to ditch. We wandered out of the park and off to somewhere – McDonald’s, maybe – just anywhere but there.
All of us students had rode in together on the school buses. Time got away from us and we were just minutes from the last bus leaving without us. So my prettiest friend asked a guy in a convertible to give us a ride. He agreed. Five sixteen year-old girls piled into his convertible, giggling and laughing. Things just have a way of working out when you’re young.
I think of that now and am amazed at the good in that twenty-something man. I think of a pack of pretty teenagers in summer clothes bumming a ride from a complete stranger. That is a dream for a rapist or murderer or pedophile. Luckily for my adolescent self, I didn’t know any of those existed. I didn’t know to worry yet.
Ignorance is bliss. Naive people are always happy because they don’t know better. Bitter people are cynical because they know too much. There is no way to regain your naivety once it’s gone. Instead, we seek happiness in the midst of the evil we’ve seen, knowing if we do ever find it, it will be a slighter version of the happiness we knew in our youth.