Shades of Gray

I volunteer once a week at the business office of a local volunteer organization, helping with clerical tasks, taking phone calls from those in need of help and serving as the IT computer guy.   I started doing this when I was on the organization’s board and responsible for liaison with the paid office staff consisting of one full time employee, we’ll call her S.   S runs the office very efficiently and the organization would be lost without her, although not everyone knows it.   At any rate, S is very direct and honest with people, which sometimes comes across as brusque.   I, on the other hand, find it refreshing.   A year after I started volunteering there, I became Chair of the board and her de facto boss, something that took us both a while to adapt to.   Last week, we were talking about the surprising characteristics we’ve seen emerge in board members when they became Chair.   I swallowed hard and asked what she’d seen  in me.   You have a hard time making a decision, Bud, she said.   You have a tendency to waffle back and forth.

Now, at the time there was a particular decision she wanted my support on, so I suspect that was the source of her observation, but I have to admit, she’s right.  I tend to see both sides of most situations and rarely see in black and white.   I see most things in Shades of Gray.   That’s why I’m not an animal rights person or a vegetarian even though I love animals.   It’s why I don’t think white sugar is poison or Saccharin an anathema.   Though I’m conservative, I don’t like Rush Limbaugh all that much and although people are inclined to think I’m spiritual, I’m not religious.  I can be ambivalent about capitol punishment while inclined to think it’s necessary sometimes.   I dislike Sean Penn’s politics and off-screen persona but respect his effort in Haiti.   Though seeing a race horse fall at Santa Anita was upsetting and I know the sport needs reforms, I’m likely to attend a race again and unlikely to call for an end to thoroughbred racing.  The line between helping and rescuing (or enabling) a loved one isn’t a fine line, it’s a fuzzy one.    Shades of Gray.

Does this mean I’m wishy-washy, like Charlie Brown in Peanuts?   I’m willing to admit to the possibility but only for a moment.   I’m inclined to believe that in most issues, there are arguments on both sides and that when someone chooses black or white, they essentially eliminate; (1) the possibility that anyone who doesn’t share their opinion will listen to them and, (2) the possibility that they will learn anything.  That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in right or wrong, just that many situations we encounter in this life contain some of each.  And the things I do see in black and white, I believe in passionately.

How about you?   Are you Black and White or Shades of Gray?

Explore posts in the same categories: perspectives

Tags: , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

10 Comments on “Shades of Gray”

  1. erbdex Says:

    Good conclusion.

    // PS: i wish i was like Charlie Brown.

  2. Allison Says:

    I’m a shades of gray person – I find that it makes it easier to get along with people if you can understand their side of things…as well as making for an easier transition when you find out you were wrong about something and have to shift your views 😉

  3. muri Says:

    I also am a shades of gray person and like the way Allison explained herself!

  4. granny1947 Says:

    Hi Bud…when someone is acting rally badly I DO try to see if there is a reason for their behaviour.
    Having said that…it is hard to always stick to that and I have been known to lash out when I think someone is being a total pratt(have you read the book called “total Pratt”?)(excellent)

  5. Much like everyone else here -I also am a shades of gray person!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: