I write notes on my fridge to help me stay mindful throughout the day. Lately, I’ve been contemplating that “the gray is OK.”
“The gray” means questioning what others believe and your own beliefs. It means living with indecision and uncertain outcomes. It means feeling constant contradiction, and most likely being misunderstood for that.
When I was in high school, I wrote a poem about taking a black and white photo of the world. Instead of having a crisp, well-defined B&W aesthetic, my photo turned out gray. It was a metaphor for the murky color of our current society’s morality.
My vantage point has significantly changed over the years of experiencing those murky shades and hues of this world. Where at one time I loftily looked down upon this gray world through my metaphorical camera lens, I now am looking much more closely at the gray within myself.
This is because I don’t always know what I believe. Or rather, I see multiple sides to an issue, which may lead to multiple beliefs.
The black and white mindset tells us that if we are not white, then we must be black because…what other option do we have in a dualistic world? Do you like cats or don’t you? Are you a republican or a democrat? Do you believe in God or are you a non-believer? From the small considerations to the really big ones, even when we’re told to question beliefs there is usually an expectation that we must land on one side or the other eventually.
What if living in the gray is an acceptable place to be?
The point I’m trying to make is certainly NOT that we should be opinion-less. On the contrary, it is to be comfortable with having multiple opinions simultaneously. It is to question our own beliefs and to consider that our beliefs may, someday, even change. Mine certainly have!