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Human Innocence: Why Do We Crave It So?

 I am not going to go on a long-winded, intellectually exhausting escapade on why we crave the expression (s) of innocence from our fellow human beings. Mostly because I wish to hear from you and what you think about the topic of human innocence and why we, intermittently, do crave it so.

                However, I do want to share a few quick thoughts of my own in relation to this subject matter. In a way, human innocence can symbolically be represented by the hatching of a baby chick – an adorably cute furry creature with a little orange beak that longs to let out its first resounding quack.  You can’t help but want to pick up the cute baby chick, cuddle it, and bask in its pure innocence. It kind of creates a sense of oneness, stopping time while dulling the mind to forget the current agenda.

                An extended idea of human innocence may well be the notion of vulnerability. Vulnerability may be understood as a person’s internal acknowledgment that there remains a part of them that is untainted by the social experience of their interactive life and that acknowledgement can be authentically and openly shared with other people. Said differently, a person looks inside to realize and accept that their trust, on occasion, has been broken, their feelings have, now and then, been hurt, yet there still remains time and chance to find authentic relationships that will bring a sincere and non-threatening joy to their life. This means that there is more time for us to develop meaningful and fulfilling relationships with human beings, ones where we feel safe to share the vulnerable parts of our self and, at the same time, express innocence to another.

                When Edgar Allan Poe deliberated the structure, rhythm, and meaning of his poem ‘The Raven’, he perhaps conveyed the idea of human innocence and vulnerability best. I will paraphrase him here; “When creating ‘The Raven’, I chose a melancholic and mournful tone to try and best illustrate the concept of beauty in a human life. I chose this tone because there is nothing more beautiful as when another human being is authentically moved to tears”.

                With Poe’s words and representation in mind, herein rests an afterthought; Innocence, on its own, is not beauty. Vulnerability, by its self, is not beauty. Therefore, the merging of innocence and vulnerability is required for an individual to reach the heights of beauty. Embodiment of innocence is not enough. A person must embrace its pure form expression, vulnerability. Otherwise, beauty cannot be achieved and the individual will remain miserable – unfulfilled.

                Do you like poetry? Is the human experience of fulfillment dependent on the authentic expression of vulnerability? What does fulfillment mean for you?

Drop me a line if you find the time,

Matthew Polkinghorne  

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