Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Shades of Gray

Some people have a very "black and white" idea of the world . . . They see "right or wrong", "yes or no", "good or bad", "liberal or conservative". In many cases, there is no room for shades of gray. I appreciate other opinions and gain both intrigue and wisdom by listening to differing points of view. As I get older, I find that my range of gray is expanding. Where I once was set on certain principals and thoughts, I have learned that sometimes I gain more respect of other people by just opening my ears. Now, that doesn't mean I've shed my core values and beliefs. It just means that I'm open to the possibility that my opinion isn't the only right answer.

I was reared in a time when it was advised not to speak politics, religion or money. I always thought it was because it was nobody's business to know how you feel about these things. Now I clearly understand that it was because these topics electrify conversations and cause division between people. It is very dangerous when people believe that their way is the "only" way. Not only does it cause division, but in many cases it causes hatred and violence. Judgement and condescension breeds an unhealthy approach between seemingly sensible humans.

I don't know the answers to life's questions. I don't know who is going to heaven. I don't know who makes the best political candidates. I DO know that when I allow shades of gray into my thought process, I am more likely to find bits of knowledge that help me become more patient and kind to others. At the end of my life, I'd rather people remember me for being gracious and accepting, rather than bitter and close-minded.

So anyway, that was on my mind today,

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you become "fools" so that you may become wise.
- 1 Corinthians 3:18

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