How Do You See the World?

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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, ย 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 strokedย 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!

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12 thoughts on “How Do You See the World?

  1. Such a real, natural post. Myself, I see it in a full array of colour, which include black and white, shades of gray, these are colours also. Therefore no differentiation in my mind.

    Do also tend to think, until you find yourself in a situation, circumstance, you won’t know until then, the colour ‘category’ you could, whether mentally or physically or indeed if you do, class it under, if indeed, it can be classed at all.

    Somethings, some people don’t necessarily fit neatly into categories, into the ‘ideal’ or ‘dream box’ as I would probably end up referring to it as. Sheesh, I can be such a cynic at times ๐Ÿ™‚

    Would we want a black and white world? Would it be as simple and straightforward as people may think it would be? At this time, I don’t think so, there will always be differentiates in some way, shape or form, there will always be the ‘unseen’, the unprepared for, the reactive situations rather than the pro-active (as much as I don’t like reactive, can knock everything else that you may have done, be doing pro-actively off-skelter, does normally incur a wee bit of under breath cursing ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Is this not what keeps the world interesting, keeps the world evolving or is it revolving? Do we want the world to stop? – I have to answer no. Have a great day Niki!

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I agree that most things don’t fit neatly into boxes. Too many factors. I think it would seem simpler in black and white but the reality is someone would always be left out, hurt, or disagree. The beauty is in learning how colors can blend and mix to be beautiful together. Thanks for sharing your thoughts โค

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  2. I see the world in a very complex manner. I dare not disagree that the world is not black and white. It’s basically formed by a blend of colors. Which makes the world very interesting. Every day brings a new discovery. If it’s only black and white, I think there wouldn’t be anything to discover anymore. The world will be boring and convential. That sucks.

    True enough, there are no absolutes. Some things go in between. Some things go unseen, some things go seen and it’s catergorized through colors.

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    1. I agree that if it were black and white, it would be boring. Reminds me of the book “The Giver” now that I think about it. What a mechanical existence that would be. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bernadette โค

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  3. Niki, we visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. this week. I saw such unbelievable hatred documented there, with the systematic destruction of society and its peoples. We cannot allow that to ever happen again. A limited frame of mind can lead to just that kind of policy.

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    1. I don’t know that I’m ready to visit places like that. I’m incredibly empathetic and I think it would be too overwhelming for me. I do think it’s important to be mindful of those we put into positions of power. It’s easy to think we’d never walk that path again but if we don’t learn the lessons of the past, history has a way of repeating itself…

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  4. Age brings a broader perspective on life. Experience teaches us things are rarely black and white, but that’s a good lesson, because with it comes appreciation. I know I value differences and challenges now that I struggled against in my earlier years, and it’s a lot less stressful. Enjoyed your post.

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    1. I agree that with age comes wisdom and perspective. I think travelling also helps to bring perspective as does meeting and getting to know people who aren’t as similar to us on the surface. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Have a great weekend, Kara โค

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  5. Niki, another fantastic read. I have never been one to see the world as black and white, myself. Greyscale never piqued much interest, and I can tell you that my love for color was only heightened as I dove face first into anthropology. I believe children are so innocent; their most basic, earnest love reminds us that life is only altered by what society tells us we should see instead of what we actually see. In other words, our vision is not what we perceive, but what we are told to perceive. I can’t tell you how often I have studied cultural gatekeepers and the things we believe due only to them, but I can tell you one thing… watching my sweet Elylah run up and hug her tatted-up, Harley-ridin’ Grandpa the very first time she met him was enough for me to know that hatred and fear are human constructions. Thank you!

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    1. I agree that they are very much man-made. We are all born innocent and loving. Anything contrary is taught. Anthropology is such an interesting field. I only took one course but it was the one that interested me the most! So glad you enjoyed this post and took the time to comment,very nice to meet you โค

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