What is Innocence?

39. Innocence.jpg-WEB
Innocence and purity of heart are two faces of one coin that cannot be separated from one another. Both are real blessings that all children are born with. A young child is not prejudiced and has no capacity to judge others or hold a grudge against them. A child just forgives and forgets. A child is always hopeful and trusting. A child cannot be pretentious or hypocritical. This distinctive feature in describing young children is something that all of us can feel and see. You can often find two young children fighting and then, the next moment, happily playing together. They do not harbor bad feelings or hatred for long. This is because innocence and purity of heart is in their nature.
Innocence is simplicity of heart and thought when dealing with and responding to the different situations, whether in our social or practical life.
The question is; what is it that leads a child to lose his/her innocence while growing up?
This question directly relates to the way adults treat children and educate them.  Sadly, as children grow, the world teaches them rich and poor, black and white, ugly and pretty. They learn to judge and discriminate. The world encourages them to love those who love them and hate those who hate them. They learn to hold a grudge. They are taught to strive to be the best among their peers and to always draw comparisons with others. They learn to be selfish and self-centered.  When children grow in a world that respects only the powerful or wealthy, they lose their innocence. When children are exposed to abuse, be it verbal, physical or sexual, they are left with lifelong scars that are very hard to heal.
The family environment plays a critical role in the forming of the child. A kind, loving and peaceful environment will make a child feel secure and will give him or her a pure and positive view of the world. He or she will not immediately jump to judgements nor succumb to cynicism or pessimism. Whereas a child brought in a home full of wickedness, lying, swearing and manipulation, will lose his or her faith in adults and in the goodness of people.  Such children will become confused, angry and aggressive and will completely lose the innocence they were born with.
Where is the innocent nature with which I was born? Have I lost it? Do I judge others? Am I loaded with grudges and hatred? Do I find it hard to forgive others? Does my selfish ambition make me tread on someone else’s toes? Am I pretending to be someone different from who I really am?
Is it possible to regain this innocent nature? Would you like to know about people who were able to remain pure and innocent amidst the viciousness and evil in life?