Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Into The Grey

The majority of the choices we make are based in an extreme. We mostly choose one thing or the opposite, believe one or the other, or we align ourselves wit one set of people or a different, usually opposite set.

Usually these extremes exists in a dichotomous fashion and we are conditioned/socialized/trained to pick one. Either we're Democrat or Republican, Gay or Straight, Religious or don't believe in (a) God. Even on lower level things that we dealt with in schools or our communities we either had to be Cool or Lame, Smart or Popular, the dude whose down with everybody or the one who thinks he's too good.

Of course there are choices that exist outside of the traditional binary lens, but even those exist at extremes. This one, That one or That Other one.

How can we call our self a "smart, forward thinking" society when we force people to choose an extreme? Why must we always be in competition as opposed to collaboration? Is it possible for Democrats and Republicans to collaborate? (How many bipartisan policies have we had?) Is it possible to believe in God but not be religious? Can we be cool, popular and smart? Can I we want to make money and make change? Why can't we acknowledge the grey?

In actuality there are very few things in life that are indeed black and white, mostly everything lives in the grey area. Nothing is completely right or completely wrong. No method is the correct one all the time. Sometimes a mixture of black and white is needed, sometimes the answers are in the grey. But what happens when we go into the grey? Ostracism from society?

In statistics we learned about the Bell Normal Distribution Curve and how most ppl (95%) fall under the curve. Those who fall in the extreme areas are called outliers, exceptions to the rule. However, in real life its the opposite. If you not on an extreme you're an outlier. People who see both sides of an argument are "confused" "indecisive" "wishy-washy." We might say that we appreciate those who are able to compromise, that find middle ground but secretly we question them. We call them weak and say how they're not able to defend their position, stand up for what they believe in.


We need to move away from this line of thinking and become comfortable going into the grey. If we can truly appreciate compromise and middle grounds then we can collaborate more. Collaboration would lead to a lot more change, both sides would work together instead of fighting. We might make our choices in the black and white but change happens in the grey. If we are serious about making changes and getting better we need to go there.

1 comment:

Jamyle said...

Completely agree...