Shades of gray…

Shades of gray. What if everyone viewed the world in shades of gray? What if all the extremists in the United States (or better yet the world), the ones that can only see black or white, suddenly opened their minds and hearts to a different world view? What if there were no more hate? What a world it would be! What a glorious state our country would be in! What if?

Don’t get me wrong, if we all agreed on everything the world would probably be in worse shape than it already is, but I can’t help but think that if the far right and the far left would actually take their blinders off, open their eyes, and stop spewing hate, something could be done about the state of our country and the world itself.

And what if the far right and the far left actually quit blaming each other, accepted responsibility for their own actions, and looked at the big picture? What if the far right and far left stopped inciting hate and ignorance every time they opened their mouths? What if they stopped looking at the black and white, and looked at the gray? What if?

Call me crazy but a simple conversation that starts something like this could go a long ways in improving our “civilized” country, “Hi, my name is Far Left. I strongly believe that our country should look like this and I understand that you, Far Right, feel strongly that our country should look totally opposite. Maybe if we explain to each other the reasons we feel this way, actually listen to each other, agree to disagree, and find some common ground between us, we can COMPROMISE and make our country a better place.” 

Maybe it’s an Utopian concept to actually believe that our extremist elected officials could compromise based on the good of the people they represent instead of constantly streaming biggotry, criticism, violence, hate, and ignorance.

But, unfortunately it’s unfair to place the entire blame of the state of our country solely on our elected officials because, who are they elected by? Us! (and well, whichever side whines the loudest and throws the most money out there, but that’s another column for another day).

Maybe all of us that generally see gray should start to speak out? Maybe those of you that only see black and white should actually take your blinders off and realize that there is more to every “ideal” than your own perfect opinions. Maybe you will find out that there are many that actually may agree with you on some level but because you fail to see any possible reason why somebody might think differently, civility and compromise take a backseat to ignorance and hate. The blinders stay on and our country continues in it’s downward spiral with nobody really to blame but ourselves.

So I challenge everyone, myself included, to this: next time somebody disagrees with you, instead of insisting that you’re right and they are wrong, maybe you can ask them politely why they feel the way they do. Maybe you can politely tell them how you feel. Maybe you will find you have something in common. Maybe we will all begin to see beautiful shades of gray.

What if?