• Posted: Apr 30, 2008 00:57:09
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Innocence is as disarming as beauty. Perhaps they are related. Perhaps one implies the other. But they are not the same. Beauty is defaceable, even destroyable. Innocence is corruptible. Beauty is beauty because of its effect on those who perceive it. Innocence is innocence because it is has not yet had its effect. It is undeveloped, unadulterated, uncorrupted. Innocence has yet to achieve its final result, its potential for lasting consequence.
Because innocence is so vulnerable to influence is perhaps why it is so hauntingly attractive to some. As noted on a previous page, beauty may be a defense mechanism for its disarming affect on those who might otherwise effect harm toward it, but innocence by its very nature attracts the potential for harm. However, innocence also attracts the attentions of those who would unselfishly nurture it toward its most fragrant flowering. A selfless and gifted teacher would be such a person.
Undoubtedly, all selfless and gifted teachers were once young and innocent. Per chance their innocence attracted only minimal corruption and their final flowering has indeed been fragrant.
But if a litmus test were available for selfless giftedness in teachers, would we be wise in utilizing it? For sure we need as many selfless gifted teachers as we can get, but we also need a few selfish ruthless entrepreneurs in the world to help keep things interesting. What is the optimum balance and will we ever be wise enough to understand why and how to achieve and maintain that balance?
Scientists recently reported a combination of genetic and climate evidence suggests the human race nearly faced extinction about 70,000 years ago when the world's human population plummeted to perhaps 2000 individuals under pressure from drought. Contemporary evidence would suggest we are currently cascading toward another brush with extinction through planetary mismanagement on a variety of fronts. One could argue that nearly the entire human race is naively innocent of the danger it faces. One could also argue the human race is profoundly efficient at self-corruption, virtually ensuring its own extinction. The question must be asked: can we learn to more wisely and efficiently nurture our own innocence toward a more fragrant flowering? And if so, who among us will help show the way?
Friday, April 15th, 1994