How Being Naïve Will Make You Happy

I hate it so much when someone tells me to lower my expectations of people and situations.  One time we were randomly watching this Ted Talk in my Free Will Philosophy class and the presenter is all "lower expectations equals happiness!!" I think that is awful advice.

I am an incredibly happy person but someone who has high expectations of people and always expects the best. My default is assuming everyone has pure intentions. When I meet someone new, I expect to find something inspiring about them. And I always do. Having a utopian mind where my go-to is to trust and to discover beauty in the world... why should I change that?  Yes I probably get hurt more. Yes I cry a lot. Yes there are times when people terribly disappoint me. But I think it's better living like this. And I think all of us need to be surrounded by people who expect amazing things from us in order to become the most excellent versions of ourselves.

It is so sad to me that as we grow up and get disappointed and hurt by people, we learn to start cheapening and diminishing who we think other people can be. We stop believing in people. We lose faith in them. The Bible talks so much about sin in the world and people failing, but God's response to that is one of continued faithfulness. He keeps believing in us even when we mess up and turn away from Him over and over again. He gives us constant chances to come back to Him and has enormous expectations for our lives and our character development.  And I don't think God is foolish. I think that's the definition of wisdom and love.

I choose to live in a vulnerable way because I think it's more beautiful. More human. More effective at empowering other people to grow. Some people might label me as naïve and oblivious, but I think maintaining a childlike trust and hope in all of who we can be is the best way to live. I think preventing yourself from feeling disappointed by lowering expectations is on par with blocking emotions. It's okay to be hurt by the world. It's okay to sometimes feel broken. Being crushed and disappointed by other people is the direct result of caring intensely.  It's the natural result of loving imperfect people.

So if you know people like me who are "naïve" or "way too optimistic" just let us be! And don't tell us to change. Let us keep having beautiful thoughts about the world. I promise, we're happy being this way! And if you become like this too, together we can gradually empower everyone to be the truest version of themselves.   

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