Let us take a break from our busy lives as Christmas approaches to reminisce the true meaning of childhood, innocence and why the correlation between them is so important, increasingly so in today’s world. You may wonder-alright being innocent is important as a childhood, but to what extent? do children who get exposed to the harsh realities of life early fail to make it in life? isnt that rather preferable given the fact that they would be pushed out of their ignorance and have an early bird advantage? lets see
Childhood: The state of being a child.
Innocence: lack of guile or corruption; purity.
Childhood comprises the period of personal growth of an individual from his birth up to the point where he starts becoming an adult ,which includes phases like adolescence. At every stage, there are minor changes which although may not be reflective in the nuances and subtleties of their actions, shapes their psychology gradually and in parts. The small things in one’s life-the advice of an elder, the moral of a fable or the dialogue of the dying movie hero tend to have a stronger place in their memory as opposed to occurrences of mass importance. The perception of events, through this phase, is also completely different from that of their older counterparts, which can be said to include their future selves which although may seem to be for the better of that person, is actually rather despondent.
The fine line of distinction
”You will never be the same as you were 10 years ago, and 10 years later you wont be as you are now”. A child’s notion of the world is what really makes his age and way of thinking unique as opposed to how people older than them see it as I have mentioned before and will reiterate here, for this magic is something that really sets them apart-although similar in biology and appearance, their way of thinking is almost alien to the ways of adults, and though humans fear what they do not understand-this is not the case with children for all those adults have been a child as well at some point in their life and having known the great way of viewing the world through the filters of ignorance and bliss, miss it. This magic, as I would like to call it, is termed as the power of imagination by some. It is true to a great extent, for there is no force which we can generate to match the abstract power of a child’s imagination, but you beg to ask the question-how do the likes of Tolkien create an entire fantasy world out of nothing, with characters and plots that make fiction seem like history after having gone through war?
“Well there are always outliers, and Tolkien was no normal man”. I,for one, believe that normalcy is an illusion as every man and woman is extremely unique in their own way of thinking. Imagination, though deteriorating in nature over time, has its roots in innocence-this is something I believe and I can explain the correlation this way: Lack of knowledge of the world creates an enigma about it-and when this knowledge is as low as that of a child to not know the very structure of the substances that surround him, the brain’s ability of creativity knows no bounds.
“So you’re telling me that children cant be imaginative and child-like without innocence? What about all those prodigies and geniuses who have mastered advanced sciences at an extremely young age?”At the age, children do not think of life companions, mortgages, social work, justice or the complexities of life we find ourselves in. To put it simply as I have before: they are in a world of their own.Any additional gifts of grey cells which they may have been born with are only more admirable if anything.
Reminiscence of the past, the loss of innocence
“As a child I never imagined that all of the real monsters in the world would be humans”
Moving slightly beyond the scope I have limited myself with in the title of this article, I will now talk about the consequences of disillusionment and expression of the process by which one undergoes this change in mentality. It happens so swiftly and yet so gradually(mind the oxymoron),it will leave you wondering how it all actually did happen. It isn’t that complicated after all in the end: once you start to see things as they really are, or should I put it this way: the way this world has wanted you to see it based on how it has been viewing itself for the millennia, you fail to grasp the concept of imaginative uniqueness’s relevance as you grow older. The curiosity and anxiety that once drove you as a child to explore the unknown and venture into that space and fill it with tools of luminosity varying from flying fishes to shapes of cars in the clouds lose their place in memory to the worldly facts and figures, and once that happens: there is no going back-for once reality takes hold of you, finding your way back into the wonderland :this time with the knowledge that it does not in fact exist and was and will be nothing more than a fragment of your imagination which will never have shape, you fail to stop caring for it altogether and this is when one realizes the concept of futility.
The ultimate question: Why go through it at all?
“Part of grief is the loss of innocence: the loss of the certainty that everything will always be as it has been “
Comes back in the end to the basic concept of idealism vs realism, as GB Shaw would put it:”The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those who don’t have it”. Living in an idealistic world created by ideals, or in this case: by imagination have a lot in common for both are unrealistic and difficult to maintain in the harsh realities of life. It is fine to build a metaphorical wall around you and live the lie, but sooner or later that wall is gonna break down: brick by brick for there will always be people walking up and down outside the wall, banging their head against it so you can feel the noise and question the strength of these walls. Eventually, It falls and you see life all around you as it really was.
The result? Byronic cynicism, disillusionment and disinclination towards everything and everyone that once fascinated you. Dont believe me? Look all around you at the number of people who are giving up their lives at an extremely young age, destroying their teenage by using inconspicuous means as that of drags, clandestine meetings with one’s past self and the so called “Reservoir” of the only good times you had in life were as a child, which you continue to hold close to your heart in the hope that things might get better one day when deep within you have embraced the fact that it is only downhill from there, which brings me to the last part of this article: is it really worth it ? Being told Santa is real only to drown in sorrow when you realize he isnt.When truth becomes lies there is nothing left for the world to fall back on regarding whats right and what isn’t
It all boils down to this: your life was, is and will be what you make of it in the end, but the consider what I have said here, especially if you’re still young and open minded while keeping that child alive at heart. For despite all the drudgery and complexities stated above, I try to live life as it I’d like it rather than how others would. Guess that’s all about being childish isn’t it? having your way with things! Never let maturity get the best of you ~