For those that seek easy solutions in life, the black and white world is highly appealing as it provides comfort in the simplicity.
For those that are willing to open their eyes to nuance, there is complexity to behold in this world, and that is a beautiful thing.
The easy solutions that people desperately want to hold onto state that the world is
- us versus them
- him versus her
- older versus younger
- thin versus fat
- tall versus short
- white versus black
- good versus evil
People that cling to these ideals take comfort in knowing without a shred of doubt that there is an absolute right answer.
But the world is not black and white.
It’s not that simple.
And there is beauty in the complexity.
Do not harshly judge those who prefer to live in their black and white world; they are doing what they think is right. To them, being able to quickly categorize people and actions in their world gives them parameters to function appropriately in their life. You can try to reason with them that there are nuances in this world, but that might shake their core belief systems and it’s possible they’ll become extremely defensive. Understand that they are doing the best they know how to do. And then let them be.
It’s easier for some to have an easy solution to their problems versus not having a solution at all. There is comfort in deciding and comfort in labeling, because then you have your world categorized into all these little boxes. There is comfort in that, and unease in not being able to define something.
But there isn’t always an easy choice, and there isn’t always a right answer. There isn’t always a label that fits or a box to fit into. And I want to tell you that’s it’s ok to NOT have the right answer. It’s OK to remain undefined. That may leave you feeling uneasy, and that’s ok too.
Too often, people are quick to judge another’s actions when there is more beneath the surface that is yet to be seen.
- Bob shows up 30 minutes late for a second date with a Susan. Even though Bob apologized, Susan refused a third date with him because she labeled him as irresponsible and she didn’t believe in giving second chances. But what she didn’t take the time to find out was WHY Bob was late. Had she given him a minute to explain, she would have found out that he stopped by his grandmother’s house to help her when she had taken a fall.
- After finding out on a first date that Sarah had two kids under the age of 10, Steve told her he only wanted to date women with no kids because those were the women who had time to date. What Steve didn’t know was that Sarah actually devoted time to dating whereas the other childless women Steve dated next put forth no effort.
- After going on a few dates, Sally decided Joe wasn’t worth the effort. He was staying at his sister’s house, was having a hard time holding a job and didn’t have a nice car. What Sally didn’t get a chance to see was that Joe had massive ambition and was just in a transition phase with a startup business which eventually took off and made Joe very successful.
- Mike called off a third date with Emily because he didn’t sense her to be a sensual person and that was important to him with a partner. What Mike failed to see was that Emily takes a while to open up to new people, but when she gets to trust someone, a whole other side comes out… a very sensual, sexy side.
All of these missed opportunities, these missed connections, might have an easy solution by asking simple questions:
- Why were you late?
- Will you have time to date?
- What are your career goals?
- Does it take you a while to open up to new people?
When you ask questions to understand people’s actions, then we begin to remove our initial judgments and our initial labeling. People are complex beings; be curious about their layers of complexities!
It’s a beautiful thing to be able to see the complexities of life. It promotes understanding, compassion and empathy. There are infinite shades of color that exist in this world, just as there are infinite paths that we can chose and limitless solutions to any given problem. There are no easy solutions that will fit every person every time.
The only thing you have to go on is what seems best for you in your situation. And what’s best for you now may not be what’s best for you tomorrow. And that’s ok. All you can do is stay connected to YOU and choose wisely for you in the moment. Free yourself from having to have the absolute RIGHT answer every single time and it will free up your life.