On my summer vacations I went to a natural park on Gerês in Portugal. I spent there a whole week and I got to see the most amazing views of mountains and waterfalls (this part where I went, wasn’t burned by the fires).
So there was this waterfall that wasn’t dried by the lack of rain, where lots amount of people were visiting and I did too. I can show you some pictures of it. It’s called Cascata (Waterfall) do Tahiti.
When you go to places like this, you just can’t visit and go home, no, you feel the urge to enjoy every little piece of it, explore it, take pictures to take home and show to your friends. I took my bikini and beach towel, ready to go in…
Then…. this happened: I had FEAR.
when I got to the water, I saw how deep it was, but that didn’t scared me because, I am a good swimmer, I took swimming classes. The rocks were slippery, that did scared me a lot. My mind started thinking ‘OK, I could go in, I could slip but that wouldn’t be dangerous because I can swim‘ But then I started thinking ‘what if I can’t get out AFTER? because the rocks are slippery and I could try getting out of the water and not being able to.‘ That scared a lot. Even worse because I was wearing my contact lenses so I whenever I put my head under the water I have to gently press my eyes to get the water out before I opened them.
That waterfall gave me nightmares later. The fear of falling down the rocks, even when my brain knew I wasn’t gonna go there anymore.
I have another fear, whenever I swim on the ocean or in a river of getting bit by an animal (fish, crab, …). The news makes me fear this things, with so much happening to the world I get more concerned about my mortality, and that stuff doesn’t always happen to other people, it may happen to be. And now, I’m even more concerned that the news make me fear leaving my own house. I could get robbed, get rapped, get shot (unlikely here), I don’t know what could happen. If If I knew I was gonna die some time soon, I wouldn’t be making plans for my future, so I wouldn’t look for a job, I wouldn’t look forward to get married, I wouldn’t look forward to have kids, I would just spend my last days doing what I could do… playing games, reading, sleeping, getting fat. Cuz I’m too broke to do anything else.
Now the theme of this post. Is Innocence, happiness?
I saw children there, on the waterfall, (with their parents supervising) getting on the water and swimming without any problems, and I started thinking, when I was their age I was like that… I didn’t calculate danger on my brain. I didn’t know what kind of danger would be on swimming on a waterfall either. I would just enjoy without any heavy conscience. It’s like… you enjoy stuff more when you don’t know they might go wrong, but still, if you do know they could go wrong, you would take extra precautions to be safer.
When I was a kid I didn’t have that fear to be bitten while I was on a river. I would stay there for hours, and I didn’t even knew how to swim at the time.
Growing up is like that… Knowing the difference between fun and safety and having fun while being safe.
Let me get you another example. I am a programmer and I want to make a new game about airplanes. If I want the game to be fun… I would just put some button up, down, right, left, boost, get it crashed, so kids would enjoy that and would be so much fun. If I want a game to be about safety I would put the velocity displayed, warning, safety rules, more extra buttons, and that would be boring…
So kids enjoy more when their games have car crashes, killing people, high speeding. Grown ups too. But when it comes to real life, the scare of happening something to us (or others) turns us… boring ?! Not saying that being a criminal is funny, but when a parent tells his kid that he can’t go out to this club because he is too young, he isn’t thinking the dangers that could happen to himself, he is only gonna think how boring his parent is for not letting him go. And he might tell the parent he hates him when all the parent wanted is for him to be safe.
Is innocence really happiness?