So many beautiful colors that, to me, seem so different.
I could never paint a room "Nimbus Cloud" when clearly "Granite Dust" is a better choice. I am enamoured with colors. And while I can appreciate the simplicity of black and white, to me, it is always just shades of gray.
The same is true of my feelings about people. I find it impossible to see people as good or bad, right or wrong. I look to the circumstances of each situation to see what influenced the choices that were made. I look behind the behavior to see into the need.
Some call this wishy-washy, foolish, weak. Others, like my mother, offer the more gentle terms, open-minded, compassionate, empathetic, understanding.
What ever you call it, I lack the ability to be concrete, which incidentally is a shade of gray.
For some people there is comfort in the contrast of black and white. They feel secure knowing that things can be classified, confidently and without question into one of two categories. There is true power that comes from making a decision, in really owning it. Big or small, being able to say definitively that you are "sure" you made the right choice. As George W. Bush sits brazenly with Matt Lauer and refuses to acknowledge any error in judgement, makes no apology for being, even to the bitter end, the "Decider-In-Chief," I wonder what gives a person that kind of confidence.
In the eyes of a black and white person, a person who makes a decision based upon faceless facts, I am easily a doormat, frequently taken advantage of, spineless.
It has taken my husband the entirety of our relationship to try to understand that I am okay with this because it is who I am. It is woven into the fibers of my being.
I am a person who looks to see the humanity in even the most despicable person, the 911 terrorists and the DC Sniper, Susan Smith and Andrea Yates - these people have done things, made choices that turn my stomach, however, I can and do have sympathy for them in my heart.
My husband stands before me INCREDULOUS - unable to grasp my naivete. He argues powerfully that these people hate me because of my religious beliefs, because of where I was born. These are evil people. They would point a gun in my face, pull the trigger and never bat an eye.
He gets so angry because he doesn't understand the gray. But maybe that is why we are together.
There are things to be learned from the gray.
But you can't have gray without black and white.
I understand that he is motivated by love by an animal-like instinct to protect his family. He has finally accepted that I will always be the champion of the underdog.
And somewhere in the in-between....there is our balance.