Shades of


In your daily life… in your current and/or past life, have you ever come across anyone that see’s life and all of its choices as being no more than “black and white?” Have you ever met… do you know anyone that is afraid of change?  Someone that will – someone who seemingly will go to their grave with a bad idea rather than change and live a better life?

It’s hard to admit this, but I know far too many people who are all of the above.

My mother and I had a “discussion” several years ago about something she was trying to convince me that is written in the Christian bible.  After listening to her until she was finished with her point, I proceeded to tell her, and prove to her that what she thought she was quoting, indeed is not in the bible.  In short, her reply was, “… well, it should be!”  Ok, granted, she is presently a 93-year-old woman, but she does still live in the house she’s been in since 1955, still drives, cooks, cleans, travels all around the country… etc., so she’s far from delusional, but change is not something that has ever come easy to her.

My first wife:  One day, in the first few years of marriage; I was challenging her (nicely) to try a new laundry detergent.  Her response?  “If Tide is good enough for my mother and her mother, it’s good enough for me.”

Recently, as most of you know, I had a bad cold.  What you may not know is that I’m also a holistic therapist, so natural remedies are what I do, not only for others, but for myself as well.  A friend approached me and insisted that I take antibiotics and a few other commercial drugs, which of course I refused.  What’s worse is that I made an “off-the-cuff” comment that was taken too seriously by the other person, which led to an unprofessional “diagnosis” from a master’s degree business major that couldn’t diagnose her way out of a wet paper bag.  She hates to ask questions, so she has no idea of why I made my statement, but she has “the solution”.  Do you know people like this?

If life were indeed as simple as black and white, it would be so much easier to navigate our way through, but there are so many shades of gray in between, we’re actually hard pressed to understand all the choices we have on a daily basis.

A woman I dated awhile, around fifteen years ago:  While driving her home one night, I affectionately put my arm around the back of her neck to give her a hug – while she did remain calm, she in a very controlled, but panicked form asked me to remove my arm from around her neck.  You can probably guess that I was wondering what I had done wrong:  she was gracious enough to explain why she was holding back a panic attack:  A few years before we had met, she had another boyfriend that treated her nicely and they were getting along well… till one night, after she had already gone to bed, the doorbell rang.  She answered the door in a typically dull looking bathrobe, but as most responsible people would do, she checked to see who was at her door before answering it; it was her boyfriend.  She opened the door wondering what was wrong.  They spoke for a short while, then he stopped talking, put his hands around her neck, pushed her to the ground and raped her.  Horrible story… horrible thing to live through and it would have been an insult to her to assume that I knew why she was fighting off a panic attack.

There are far too many shades of gray in everyone’s life, so assumptions are NOT really acceptable for you, not for anyone.

And for my friends that are conspiracy theorists… there are too many shades of gray in any conspiracy to think you have the plain, unadulterated truth on anything you have no first-hand facts about.  Stop being so worried about things you can not change and concentrate on things you can… starting with…