Black, White and Grey

There is black, and then there is white and somewhere in the middle there will be a grey.

In fact, if you’ve been in this world long enough, you’ll come to realise there is a lot of grey involved.

There will always be grey but there cannot be grey without black or white. Grey cannot replace either one.

As a child, most of us have been taught black from white and not at all of grey. We have been taught to right from wrong and choose what is right, simply because it is (and then be subsequently patted on the head for being good). We were taught to be ‘good’ and rightly so. We just weren’t taught what was grey.

As we grow up and interact more with people, we discover grey for ourselves and that can be uncomfortable because it deviates from what we only know and recognise as either black or white. Something simple such as “Lying is wrong” suddenly finds new meaning in fudging the truth a little, half lies, white lies, and sometimes we do a bit of what we justify as grey because we don’t want to hurt a friend and have really good intentions underneath. (“Does this dress makes me look fat?” “No…”) So then we learn other useful life skills such as tactfulness to manage skirting round the grey unless you don’t consider this particular “Don’t lie” a big deal, but of course this is just one of many dos and don’ts we were taught as kids.

To experiment in the grey is fine. It’s almost impossible not to because it’s part of growing up and you finally make decisions with whatever black and white you know. Those decisions play a part in defining what you believe, and ultimately in defining you.

What worries me is the definition of black and white today and how society has redefined grey to black or to white. It shifts the moral core so that the black is not black and the white is not white. What we recognise as black and white today are perhaps only a shadow, a grey, of what they are suppose to be.

“If we live in the grey, what’s the big deal?” you may ask.

We can’t have grey without black or white. We still need our black and white. And we need to know which is black and which is white.

What we feel right may not be right, and what may feel wrong may not be too. But right and wrong shouldn’t be based on what we feel. Since when do human feelings become the basis of morality? Since when are humans infallible enough to have black and white based on what we feel?

Feelings are not reliable, contrary to what we hope they be. Feelings are deceptive. And if we don’t have the black and white in our heads, we will be swayed by feelings of the heart and the many voices of the world. Naturally, the same can be said of feelings being right against what we have been taught in our heads.

We live in a screwed up world, to put it simply, and if I go on about what I feel strongly about, for and against, I should be too tired. So I just decided to unload it all in a generic post. It may appear haphazard, very haphazard, in fact. I’m not an eloquent person. Just ranting now.

I can’t say I’m an adult who knows-it-all, neither can I say I am a child who doesn’t know anything. I’m a person and I grow and have thoughts and opinions to know what I stand for. And I don’t have to be the wisest to sense that this world is screwed up.

Bottom line is: Know your blacks and whites. You have to know them. Unless you don’t want to then… waheva.

The other deal is that people having different blacks and whites also lead to a lot of conflict. At the risk of sounding like a religious fanatic, the book I subscribe to is the Bible.

No, I’m not trying to force religious opinions of any sort or to go all ‘holier-than-thou’ on anyone. As a reader, I’m just recommending it as a very good book to get a basis of black and white, of humanity in general. It can be a dangerous book of sorts. People have waged holy wars based on various misinterpretations and twisted the words of the Bible to suit their own agendas so I’m not going to quote anything but do read it with discretion. And if you do read it, read it in it’s entirety else you may be offended at something and realise it isn’t quite what you thought it meant.

It’s not a ‘dos’ or ‘don’ts’ kind of book but it has a lot of thoughts to chew on, especially the Psalms and Proverbs. Those books should be relatively safe to read in isolation. If, however, you have a thing against God or you just can’t take all those themes of slavery and injustice in the Old Testament and stuff or it’s just ‘not your kind of thing’, then don’t. It’s just a friendly suggestion you don’t have to take to heart.

If you do have another good read though, please share the love and recommend some.

Sorry this post was just a result of a reality attack that someday my children may grow up in this world aaand I do not like what I see. Parenting is difficult enough. The world is not helping.

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