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Nothing's Black and White ; it's all Shades of Grey

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posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 06:34 PM
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A university lecturer told me that 25 years ago. It was great advice then, even more so now.

We'd been discussing politics, nuclear weapons, the whole wide world, everything. He'd been a lecturer for 40 plus years by the time he took our class, he'd seen ideologies come and go, he'd heard all the arguments of his new, fresh faced student intakes, year after year after year. And he seemed really down when he mentioned this to us ... as if his own vital spark had been extinguished by reality ; innocence finally being trumped by experience.

But it is with experience and maturity that you realise how true his words were. I didn't understand him then. I do now, with the passage of time.

Sure, Black and White are invariably popular ... because with Black and White you never have to listen to your opponent. Black and White make for great viewing, for wonderful animated debate. You're on one side or the other, there's no in between. There's little thought involved too, most times, it's tribal. And it's lazy too, dog tired in fact, same old same old.

I say little thought involved. Occasionally with Black and White you find a gem amongst the many hundreds of garnets ; Ronald Reagan standing up against the USSR in the early 1980's, for example. That was perfect, justified Black and White. Britain standing up to the Nazis in WW2, another great example. The creation of the British National Health Service, morality in action ... truly inspiring. But those are the exceptions, perhaps with a few others.

All too often the only things we get with Black and White are ... intolerance, hatred, division. We get Northern Ireland twenty years ago ... but our friend Shades of Grey gives us Northern Ireland today, at peace. We get racism and apartheid, now reconciliation and community.

Shades of Grey is a more problematic friend. She's difficult to define, she's more time consuming, she's not clear cut. She requires considerable input, our own energy & thought. And in this modern age, when everything has to fit into 60 second news segments or 140 word tweets, no-one likes Shades of Grey anymore. She's been abandoned by most, left to languish in the world of academia where there's time a plenty.

Poor Shades of Grey. Dowdy, dusty, abandoned and unloved.

Doesn't she deserve better ?

I think she does. And I'm posting my love for Shades of Grey here, in US Political Madness, where she's most urgently required, don't you think ?




posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:43 PM
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I have been saying this over and over and no one seems to listen.

There are only very few situations in this world where the answer is black and white. This is the problem with our world. Examples are the following...

Republicans and Democrats
Pro Life and Pro Choice
With us or against us
Certain crimes

You could talk about anything. The people who can see more than the two colors of black and white will be the ones who teach us the most in this world.



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