I took an extensive personality test as part of my program in graduate school. Actually, I was given numerous personality tests. As strange as it may seem, I thoroughly enjoyed taking these tests. I found it fascinating to see my character traits displayed in black and white, right before my eyes. It was like going to a doctor who finally gives you a name for that unknown illness you’ve been struggling with for months. That piece of paper somehow communicated to me that, hey, there’s a name for that!
And if there is a name for it . . I must not be the only one. . . right?
The “it” that I’m referring to is a character trait that produced a “high” score on my test. I remember when I read the results, my first reaction was one of embarrassment. I didn’t want anyone to see my results and if they did, I recall trying to explain it away. I feel differently about it now, though. I see it differently, too. Something that I wanted to hide back in those days, I now understand is just a part of me.
The trait I’m referring to is one the test calls “Naivete”. In other words, someone who scores high in this area might seem simple, unsophisticated, inexperienced.
Such negative descriptors, aren’t they? I think that’s why I was initially so defensive about the result. Who would want to be understood in this way? I certainly didn’t. As I’ve grown to understand (and accept) myself more fully, I completely get why I score high in this area. You see, I’m a dreamer. . . and dreamers aren’t necessarily viewed as sophisticated, worldly, and experienced.
I’m okay with that.
I’ve been thinking about this recently, as I have noticed my tendency to believe that “I can change the world.” Okay, maybe not the world. . . but this situation or that one. I’ve noticed that the dreams that are floating around in my heart are far bigger than I am. I’ve found myself asking “why?” less and “why not?” more.
It is not just my dreams, though, it’s theirs. . .
I listen to the way they talk and use their imaginations and I don’t want them to lose it. I want them not only to dream, but to believe that so many things are within their reach. I’m realizing that as much as I want to shelter them and keep them close, there is a much bigger part of me that wants to give them wings and let them fly. . . no matter how much it hurts.
I don’t necessarily want my kids to be fearless, I just don’t want them to be afraid of their fear. (That probably doesn’t make any sense.) Maybe that’s what courage is? Not the absence of fear, but the refusal to be defined by it. That thing deep inside the spirit that says this is really scary, but I know it’s right and keeps your feet moving forward through the nervous beating of the heart. I really do believe that they (or I, really) can do anything that our hearts can dream. . .
I think that is why I might seem naive at times. Perhaps, I am. (I’ve got the test results to prove it.) But in all reality, if I’m going to err or one side or the other. . . I’d rather believe too much. . . than not enough. I’d rather feel overly hopeful, than not hopeful enough. I realize that dreams must be assessed against talents and skills. . .
Maybe I’m just dreaming, but I believe that these two can change the world. Heck, who am I kidding? They already have. . .
. . . they’ve changed MY world.