Many people have told me that I am naive. Usually it is an accusation. But allow me, for a moment, to self-defend.
What, really, is wrong with believing the best about people? What is wrong with being oblivious to the ill motives of others? My husband would say that it is too easy for me to get into a dangerous spot. Probably true. Others would say that I can easily be taken advantage of. That is probably true also. But isn’t a stance of naiveté more child-like than one of constant suspicion?
David Yarnes writes in his new book, The Prosperity Matrix, “For me, self-defeating, cynical practices were so destructive that I began to recognize the value of building a counteracting approach to life. . . . I began practicing a way of life that I called “planned naiveté.” That is the freedom to have faith in other people regardless of past experiences. Planned naiveté means that you actively choose to believe the best of situations and people.”
Sure, this approach means that we could be taken advantage of. But it also means that we are open to people and opportunities that we could otherwise miss. Yarnes explains “Even when things go wrong, we can train ourselves to mentally reestablish a mindset of faith in other people. It’s important, because otherwise we are… too busy protecting ourselves to realize that we are missing out on life.”
A child does not have to plan how to be naive, he comes by it naturally. Maybe he has not (yet) been hurt by someone he trusted, or abused for someone else’s gain. Maybe he has not been polluted by the filth of this world. Maybe because he is (still) pure within, things outside of him are also deemed to be pure. Jesus did say something about that…. and also said that child-like faith is required for entering his Kingdom.
Think about it?
(Quotations are used with permission. Visit daveyarnes.com for your copy of “The Prosperity Matrix.”)