There are so many things in my world that seem black and white (seem is the operative word). Even my clothes choices. I think nothing of wearing all black every day. It’s easy and decisive. But if I were to look at my life that way – just one color – it would be boring, cold and I would miss most, if not all of the nuances of the world around me.
The truth is, nothing is more beautiful in life than the different shades of gray.
My boys asked me the other day how I felt about the Hiroshima bomb — “Was it right or wrong?” I was stunned by such a black and white question. Yes, I have feelings about that issue but how could there really be no shades of gray?
It’s the grayness of life that allows us to avoid judging a situation or person with the bold hammer of one view. It’s the grayness that allows us to see the beautiful details so much clearer. I might even say that seeing the world or even a situation as black or white precludes us from feeling or understanding the emotion behind a problem.
Politics is a perfect example (this is not a political statement, however). So many people get stuck on one side. They’re too busy trying to paint their color over everything that they color right over the finer points, which we all have in common.
Or, how about your relationships or arguments with your partner? Don’t we (me) tend to dig in, to think our (my) position is “right?” But, by doing so don’t we (me) completely shut out the possibility of the gray? The spot where we have commonality and the place from which we can work toward a mutually beneficial solution? I gotta work on this one!
Life, love, relationships, politics, business, religion — everything has shades of gray. When we look at life with shades rather than hard colors, we find that we get closer to the collective emotions of whatever it is we are dealing with (and in particular, those we love) and it’s only at that point can we really move the ball forward. In fact, looking at the world with grayness really does allow us to experience compassion for those who see the world differently than us.
So, maybe add a few shades of gray to your world today. I’m definitely going to try it when I get in a fight with my loved ones. Maybe it will help me see the argument (or the solution) in a whole new light (or at least not in my black and white light!).
Have a fantastic day!