Sunday, November 29, 2009
Shades of Grey
This week someone told me that I make a lot of declarative, definitive statements regarding most matters in the world and in how I perceive things to work, especially in these tough times. They didn't say it was a bad thing, just that it was unusual in this day and age, and how it was refreshing overall. Of course I was aware that I have very strong opinions about many topics, but I hadn't been called on it in a while and it got me thinking again about why I am this way.
It's no secret that I am an idealist, that I believe things should be a certain way and that I do my best to help anywhere I can along those goals. I'm sure many of my formative years reading comic books, where the line between offensive villains and defensive heroes was always clearly defined didn't help my idealized thought process. Nor did stories of knights, whip-wielding archaeologists, and George Bailey help in my perceptions of doing what needs to be done to serve "a just cause".
Still, I am left uneasy with the concept that I am a definitive person, that my opinions are absolute and unwavering. Yes, the notions of absolute "right" and "wrong" would be great if they were always clear and easy to define. However, as we all know the real world does not necessarily work in such a clear cut manner. Unfortunately, in the real world decisions are often made through reluctant compromise where sometimes, most times, no one really wins in the end, or at least not the "good guys".
I am abundantly aware of what shades of grey consume us on any given day, but that doesn't mean I have to be satisfied with them. We all make concessions every day to make the path easier, to lighten the load, to make others feel better, or when we are just too tired to put up a fight. It's natural, and in these tough economic times, people are even more afraid to stand up and take a risk. It is completely understandable, and if you don't get that, then you either haven't been watching closely or are untouched by the changing times.
The countless shades of grey that consume the world we all inhabit seem to fluctuate between lighter and darker shades depending on the weather, who is in power, what news network you watch, the intensity of your headache that day, and how much sleep you got the night before. Life isn't easy, but since when has it ever been? We have all done things at some point that we aren't proud of or that we regret in those quiet moments when the kids are asleep and the dog hasn't been fed yet, but that's okay, too.
All that said, the only thing that really bothers me about all of the struggles and uncertainties today is the lack of hope I see in people. A lot of people I know want things to get better but go through their days with a sincere disbelief that things can ever get better. Okay, maybe in certain instances they are correct, but no one ever lived a good life and nothing ever got better by thinking the worst. So sure, I freely admit that I may not always be the most positive person out there, but the one ideal I will always cling to is hope. That can never be a bad thing.