Black and White

Jul 14, 2018 by

Black and White

Is it daytime or nighttime? Well, it’s sunset so it’s kinda both. Boy or a girl? Well, there’s a little bit of feminine and a little bit of masculine in everyone. Are you right or are you wrong? Well, it’s not so clear-cut. Everything in life, and I mean basically EVERYTHING is a shade of grey. Nothing is Black and White.

I see this in kids all the time. My kids, kids in my family, kids who I interact with. When we’re young we want to see things in clear terms: Right/Wrong, Good/Bad, Start/End. I think defining that hard edge gives us clear boundaries on which we can push, but in reality, gives us something to feel safe within. When we are growing up, either emotionally or physically, the safety of the structure, of black and white, gives us a place to play and be secure that we won’t be hurt. We know that if we stay in the sandbox we’re safe. That edge gives us a place where everything will be ok.

But as we grow up we start to realize that what we used to easily categorize as black/white, right/wrong, good/bad really are just shades of grey. That everything in life is subject to interpretation. And that means that suddenly things are not quite as easy to understand. We start to realize that we HAVE to walk outside of the sandbox, and in getting outside our sandbox things are not so crystal clear. Which means what once looked safe may not be. But that’s what life is about. It’s about taking the risks necessary and being vulnerable enough to see the world as all shades of grey. It’s about understanding the nuanced movements of being alive. Sometimes those movements are difficult to discern. They can be subtle and we can be unsure of our footing. But life won’t let you stay black and white for long. Life will require you to understand the nuances of living, which is where all the fun is anyway.

So here’s my question: “What do you still hold on to as black/white, right/wrong, good/bad that you could see more as just humans being perfectly imperfect humans and part of this big bundle of grey?” Of course, this is easier when we look at it with the backdrop of someone else. But what about yourself? Can you look at yourself, look at how you behave, act, feel, and realize that it’s probably not black and white, it’s probably a whole bunch of grey and forgive yourself for being human and not fitting within the extreme of black and white? If you can live in the uncertainty of grey you can see life clearly and understand the loveliest of colors is … Grey.

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

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