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The Gray Area

I was listening to NPR Radio today, as I often do, and they were having discussions on several controversial things that are being debated in current events. It struck me, as it often does, that the controversy comes because there is no black and white…..there is only gray.

I am one of those people who lives in the gray. Don’t get me wrong. I can take a stand on certain issues, but I can also see the other side’s point of view. If we look at any major issue going on right now, and if you can take the emotion out of it, there is not a clear black and white solution. This is often because it is all so based on opinion.

If we look at issues such as racial policing, which was one of the NPR discussions, we can count the numbers and see that African Americans are targeted in many cities. If I talk to one of my police friends, white or black, they will talk about how terrifying it is to be in certain areas and how it makes you hyper-vigilant. They will also talk about how they are blamed when things happen that they were supposed to prevent. Yet they feel they get in trouble for trying to do preventative policing. I am not taking a side here, just noting how gray the discussion can get.

Then as I look out my office window and see the horses grazing, there is no gray area in their behavior. They do what is right in the moment. They react. When there is good food, they eat it, without worrying about the consequences. When there is a horse fly landing on them, they run to the barn or roll. When they are thirsty, they find a water source. When something alarms them, they run, without considering how it makes them look or even if there is something to actually be afraid of.

Of course that gray area is part of what makes us human. It allows us to have a conscience and think futuristically or about the past. This can all get a bit overwhelming at times, at least for me. When it does, I try to just accept that the world operates in the “gray”, and find a bit of refuge from that by taking some time to just “be” in the moment, like the horses, and let the rest of the world do what it needs to around me. I can’t help but wonder, too, if we could all just accept the gray, would the world be more peaceful because we would be able to accept others’ opinions?

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About the Author : Holly Jedlicka


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