It’s easy to mistake being innocent for being simpleminded or naive. We all want to seem sophisticated; we all want to seem street-smart. To be innocent is to be ‘out of it’.
Yet there is a deep truth in innocence. A baby looks in his mother’s eyes, and all he sees is love. As innocence fades away, more complicated things take its place. We think we need to outwit others and scheme to get what we want. We begin to spend a lot of energy protecting ourselves. Then life turns into a struggle. People have no choice but to be street-smart. How else can they survive?
When you get right down to it, survival means seeing things the way they really are and responding. It means being open. And that’s what innocence is. It’s simple and trusting like a child, not judgmental and committed to one narrow point of view. If you are locked into a pattern of thinking and responding, your creativity gets blocked. You miss the freshness and magic of the moment. Learn to be innocent again, and that freshness never fades.
--- by Michael Jackson, from Dancing the Dream. 1992