Saturday, April 23, 2011

Shades of Gray

If there's one thing I've learned throughout forty-five years of existence, it's that there are no absolutes. Just when you think you understand how the world works, life hands you a problem and you find youself once again wondering how you arrived back at the beginning. This happens because life is not black and white but varying shades of gray.

Judgment and the "right and wrong" way of thinking come about through the teaching of the world. Look at the issue of prostitution. In most countries on this earth, it is considered a crime (and a sin). People in this profession who aren't condemned by the law or religion may be ostracized by well-meaning folks in their communities. Still, there were ancient cultures where temple prostitutes were a means of celebrating the seasons and the gift of rebirth. In these cases, prostitution and the sexual act were considered sacred. The point is, the society you live in teaches you its values, and you are judged accordingly.

Life is not about learning one set of values. We are here to feel, to experiment, and to express our own uniqueness in various ways. We grow, we discover and we learn, all in an effort to understand the many layers of ourselves and the world.  The challenge of this life comes in being able to express our own individuality, even when society says we don't fit the mold. Society does not like people who live outside the box. (That is, after all, why they killed Jesus.)

Life hands us problems so we don't become complacent with how things are and conclude we have all the answers. If you have attained all the answers in life, you should already be dead (or ascended). There is no more for you to learn, case closed!

If by some miracle you find you are indeed still alive, ask yourself what it is you need to learn. The answers may well surprise you! There are no absolutes in life, no black and white issues. Life is that much more rich for its many layers, for its varying shades of gray. Be willing to see beyond what society teaches to discover the depth your life was meant to have!

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