#30: Black, White & Shades of Grey

I used to think that other people could think better for myself than I could because that’s what society and culture often tells us. We are constantly nagged with this idea that because we’re the ones going through something, we are the only ones who can’t see it for what it is, but everyone else can.

In many ways the outside looking in is the perspective that can see a situation for the “black and white” of what it is. The people around us can often tell us that that’s the only thing we can make sense of. What is black and what is white. What is right and what is wrong. What is there and what is actually a manifestation of our imaginations and hearts and souls – otherwise known as “the grey area.”

There’s people who see black in white. There’s people who see in all shades of grey. Often times it’s a matter of the mind, arguing with the heart.

The truth is I don’t think either of them is right or either of them is wrong. Each type of thinker is missing what the other one has. They grey tends to miss the concrete concepts and sometimes and the black and white misses what isn’t so simple.

But the question always lies in the question of: Where should I stand?

Where should anyone stand when the world tends to function in black and white and we are just a bunch of people who run around with our own shades of grey as baggage.

You think about it – we run on rules and regulations. In the classroom, in activities, in sports, at events, at work, in someone else’s home, there is a standard of what is expected. These societal norms are what we expect from others and what others expect from us, and we think in roles and what role we have to play. It’s no wonder we’re told black and white is right.

Grey misses the facts, it misses what the facts are supposed to mean, and that’s because it’s so caught up in the in-between. It’s caught up in the messiness, the lack of clarity. The grey that people see is usually run on heart and soul – it takes a lot of emotion into account.

The black and whites miss the grey area. They miss the idea that while everything sounds like it makes sense and is cut and dry, it does not mean that it is the only answer. Life can present the same black and white concepts over and over to people. There are pretty concrete ideas about everything. But the black and white, yes and no, bad and good, often miss the middle ground which only allows for the extremes to exist. Black and white allows no room for human error. Human error is what is real because guess what? We’re human.

Black and white sees those rules and regulations. And while it helps guide us – it doesn’t need to be all of what we see in the end. What we need to consider is both.


You can probably guess that I am a grey person. My life might live only in extremes but I am a person who runs in shades of grey. I am grey. I realize that sometimes all I think with is my heart and not my head, but I also know that sometimes people only think with their head and have no idea what their heart wants.

I think both sides loses in a sense.

Us grey-ers lose ourselves sometimes. Were looking for the answer in the answer. We’re looking for something that doesn’t even make sense to us but because it doesn’t  – it does. Too much grey can be just that – grey. Cloudy.

Too much black and white leaves no room to explore. No room to look past the answer. And I wonder if black and white thinking is a mechanism of a sort. I wonder if black and white is what protects us sometimes. What keeps us safe from what our hearts can’t handle.

I’d like to think that one day I’ll get the right combo down. I’ll know how to think in grey and I’ll know how to think in black and white – and when to use what. But for now I think I let my heart do too much of the leading sometimes when I need to think, and I use my head too much when my heart is begging for another shot.

But I realize that is me. Raw, to the core – me. And that’s okay.

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