He thought that he could change the world,
But wakes to just another day;
He thought he’d see his name in lights,
But all those crowds have turned away —
He thought he’d cast a shadow firm,
And have some stroke, a little sway;
But now he sees that all of it
Was foolishness and naïveté.

He thought he’d find his love by now,
But she’s been hesitant to show;
He thought he’d travel round the world,
But he has yet to start to go —
He thought so many things before,
But sees now, with a dawning dread,
Those naive hopes are dead and gone,
And he’s left with himself


Human evil never falls out of fashion, partially because it changes its clothes from time to time.

There is an alternative view: namely,that human beings have progressed morally over time. This is a belief for which I find very little evidence; nevertheless, it has adherents.

It is a very, very basic underlying belief: that the world either is, or isn’t, getting better. It’s not really an objective question, so people are free to see it how they will. However, many other beliefs that people espouse end up being one form or another of one or other of these basic beliefs. I have heard these two views described as the “utopian” view and the “tragic” view, the difference being the view as to whether humanity really progresses, morally, or not. I tend towards the latter category.

Having said all of that, what may be true of humanity in general is not the same as what is true of individuals. In fact, generalities are a kind of unreality: useful, but frequently misleading. We as individual people have a responsibility to try to get better.

But we think any of us always does that — including you and me — it is a type of naïveté.

Which is part of who we are.

But which can be tragic.

5 thoughts on “naïveté

  1. Really interesting read Owen and a good question. Personally I don’t think that humanity is any worse or better than it ever has been but I do think that, with the advent of social media, we are more at risk from the negative effects of propaganda and mob mentality. It’s my belief that what drives most negative behaviour is fear, in one form or another, unless we find a way to eradicate that I don’t think anything will ever really change.

  2. Loved this… do you also write the poetry in the beginning of your posts? Beautiful. I think the state of humanity is too complicated to dwell on whether we are better vs worse. I do try to be better but often times my quest for better makes me worse because the thing I thought needed to be better was already just fine. lol follow that thought train.

    1. Thank you… I do write the poems at the beginning of the essays, normally, they are all I write, but added the essays for the month.

      And I think I follow… we break what we fix by fixing what isn’t broken…

      … maybe?

      1. Yes… or we let other people convince us we need to be better when really maybe it was them who needed to be better. perspective

  3. Pingback: Day 8 – NanoPoblano – “Through The Mist Of Rosy Reverie” by David Ellis – A Found Poem Inspired by “Evening Solace” by Charlotte Brontë | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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