We have been conditioned to look at life and slot into the two primary colours always – things are always pristine, pure, correct and white or they are evil, terrible, wrong and black. Well, what about the greys? Isn’t it interesting that right now – greys are really an under rated colour associated with mostly black deeds that are being justified. Something that we know is wrong but trying to cloak it in a small measure of respectability. But, I don’t think that is grey at all.
Let me talk about some grey deeds that are recognised – harmless lies, being economical with the truth to those who are on a need-not-know-the details list, subverting the truth when the situation “calls for it.” So, are these justified under the caveat that the ends justify the means? I am sure we all recognise these so called “white lies”. I mean, why call them white, when they clearly are not a good sign?
We all know these white lies – the one that a doctor may say to a terminally ill patient which goes ” We will see you walking out very soon.”, the one that a mother tells her child when he or she says the he or she is dumb “You are the most brilliant kid that I have ever seen.”, the one that a husband tells a wife “Of course you are not fat – in fact, you look superb in that outfit.” Got the idea?
When I am trying to justify the grey, it is not to justify these white lies. Of course not. It is better to be honest – there is a difference between brutal honesty and subtle tactical honesty. Why cannot we adopt the latter that lets the person on the receiving end know the complete truth but softens the blow and makes it palatable? Doing away with these lies and being completely and utterly truthful is going to be a huge challenge and the tact added on to it will make it harder.
The greys that I refer to are the twilight shades of character – if a person is brutally honest, he or she is branded as insensitive. The honesty somehow is not a virtue here – the person is painted black. Shouldn’t that person be grey, because while he has immense integrity and honesty, he lacks subtlety and tact?
The other grey that I can think of is of the strict disciplinarian – the one who sticks to something because of the strong conviction that they are on the right path. They are the ones who don’t care about what people think or say – they march to their own tune even though it may be unmusical to others.
Yet another grey person falls on the borderline of psychological disorders – those who are unable to control their actions or thoughts. Why does society as a whole have a zero tolerance policy on such individuals?
My thoughts for a better world would include people with oodles of tolerance, sympathy, affection and love. People who share the thought that every individual is different and who empathise strongly with each other. Let us change the world for the better one person at a time.