I woke up in a philosophical mood today. A comment my toddler made sparked the inspiration for this post. She was commenting on the temperature in the car as I put her in her car seat this morning. The desert heat bakes the inside of the car and it’s like an industrial oven when we get in. Seeing as it was the early morning hours, she was surprised that it wasn’t hot inside and told me it was cold. I told her it was actually warm, not cold. She thought about it and agreed that cold wasn’t the right term and settled for nice.
That got me to thinking about the way we perceive things. There are people in the world who see things as black and white, others who see it in shades of gray, and those who see it in color. Personally, I’ve never been one to see it in black and white. My life experience has showed me things aren’t so cut and dry. The world seldom fits into tidy boxes. From legislature to religion and our own personal opinions, it’s more complicated than right and wrong, left and right, good and bad, opportunity and privilege. If the world were black and white, surely things would be simpler. Laws wouldn’t take years to come to pass, people wouldn’t fight, wars wouldn’t rage for years, and many of issues would be easily solved. I like to think that compassion and empathy are the gray and color.
From issues like poverty, hunger, healthcare, and immigration, there has to be more taken into account than the black and white. Positive productive change can’t be made by painting things with a broad stroked black brush. These issues impact real people and where people are involved, things get complicated. There are circumstances, limitations, complications, and ultimately lives to take into consideration. The same is true for our daily lives. The way we treat others based on our perception of them, whether they are deemed deserving in the eyes of society (or our own). Today I’d like to encourage you to explore how you see the world. Do you see it in black and white, shades of gray, or in color? Do you perhaps see things in general one way and certain issues another? Do you try to understand issues that others face although they don’t directly impact you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!