For a long time I was convinced that other people knew things I didn't know, understood things I didn't understand. For years I observed other people, learned all the things they knew, gained an understanding of how they comprehended the world around them. I held all the complexities of the modern human in my hand, felt like one of the grown ups, no longer a naive child.
Over time this feeling turned into bitterness. The knowledge and the understanding didn't lead to satisfaction, rather it depressed me. What appeared so brilliant and complex was valueless and pointless. I turned my observation in on myself, tried to explain why what satisfied others did not satisfy me?
I'd ended up where I'd begun, feeling that I wasn't getting what others were getting. I then realised that the knowledge and the understanding were not the problem. The problem was how others defined those things. For most people knowledge and understanding are a means to fitting in, to being one of the tribe. By knowing the same things to be true, by understanding the world in the same way people identify themselves. What I'd missed was that I had no desire to be part of a tribe, so my knowledge and understanding were always going to be out of step with those who did.
Not being of the tribe is as good a definition of naïveté as any other.