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November 11th (Narrative)

Everyone called me naive.

But, why is it naivety? Why can I not believe in the best of people? Why can I not believe that people wish to be better? That they aim to help others? That, if given the chance, they would rise to kindness? I've wondered that for a while. I consider myself a pretty cynical person: I've seen the worst a person can do to you. I've been lied to, hurt, cheated, ignored, you name it. But, I never gave up hope. So, what gives others the right? What makes me so different that I can literally be stabbed in the back in an instant, and in the next, just go back to trusting that person? What makes someone YEARN that people will change?

Maybe I am naive.

I've been studying people for a while now. I've grown to understand their desires and hopes and aspirations and dreams. I've learned how they act, why they act the way they do, and just generally what makes them "them". And, it's no help, really. Most people are incredibly similar. Most people are just...wallflowers. They drift and glide through life, not striving for more and content with what they have. But...how? How can one feel that way? How can you just BE without being more than what others think possible? I never understood that.

I'm probably naive.

I've been so used to being called intelligent, smart, etc. I've been told over and over that I'd be successful, that my future was bright, that I was a big fish, etc. And, I can't help but think that that somehow affected me. Someone was told me that once I grew up, I'd learn I was a big fish in a small pond; that I'd meet other individuals that would challenge the way I thought and help me grow. But, I grew up. And, I'm disappointed. I've not met one person who has challenged anything I think of; I've not met one individual who has convinced me of my own thoughts. I've remained unchallenged.

I must be naive.

Someone once told me that superheroes couldn't exist. That, it was impossible; that no one had the motivation for it. And, then I just stared into my own heart. How can that be possible? Why would people not want to make the world a better place? Why would people not want to change the world around them? And I became indignant. I felt it in my bones, and in my head, and in my heart: I want to be a superhero. But, how? I'm not rich, I'm not a genius, I'm not even really strong. How can I be a superhero? But, then I realized...superheroes always help the common good. They're just...analogies. Someone who saves a woman from a burning building really just saved her from a lethal situation. And, that can be anything. A word to a person on the edge of a bridge; a pat to someone with a gun in their mouth: a superhero saves lives. Do you need to be dramatic to save lives?

I have to be naive.

I've been terrified of what I would become since I was little. With all this so-called potential, I had to make people proud. I couldn't disappoint anyone. But, I found everything so banal and unnecessary. I couldn't study because it all seemed unnecessary; I couldn't focus because I was always trying to help others; I couldn't sit still because there were other things to do outside of learning. And, it took me a while to realize why I was terrified. I wasn't terrified of not being able to succeed, I was terrified of how I would succeed. I didn't want to succeed in something that wouldn't help others; I didn't want to succeed in a field where it meant nothing for the future. I wanted to make an example, and I wanted others to follow my footsteps.

I'd rather be naive.

I've been staring at this mask for hours. It fills me with such mixed thoughts and feelings, but it looks...right. I don't want anyone to be in trouble because of me, but, I also have to do this. I can hear the voices of so many people leading me to this singular moment; so much praise and encouragement and reassurance. You were meant to be special, one voice I recognized said; You need to help all those who can't be you, said another. They started to overlap and resonate with each other: just different forms of the same statement over and over. Help. Help. Help. The world was calling, my bones were aching for it, my hands were shaking as I held it in them: this was it. I wrapped the fabric across my face, and relaxed: the voices finally dissipating. There was nothing in my mind anymore, just silence and calm.

I need to be naive.

You can't save people if you don't think they would make a difference once saved. You can't risk your life for someone else if you don't think they will try to lead a better life. And you can't trust people if you don't think they deserve to just be trusted. I needed to be this way, even if it meant always being disappointed in the way people tended to be. That wasn't the point: the point was that if there was someone out there who could just help everyone unbiasedly, maybe others would follow in his footsteps. Maybe if I showed everyone how to be wholly nice, others could also be that way.

I was meant to be naive.

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