No, this post is not about the Michael Jackson song, "Black or White", though it is my favorite song of his. And, since this is the only post where it would make any sort of sense to mention that, there you have it.
Now, on to the real subject:
The older I get, the more I really, really do believe that life rarely is just black or white. There are SO many shades of gray.
I was thinking this the other day when I was reading the book, The Memory Keeper's Daughter. One person in the book made a choice with the best of intentions, but it had disastrous results. What everyone else doesn't know (and the reader does) is why he makes the choice he does. It goes back to something from his childhood that adversely affected him, so his choice makes perfect sense (sort of) to the reader. At least we understand why he made it, even though most people would probably not make the same choice. (I'm sure this is probably hard to follow. Maybe you should just read the book. Then we can discuss it online, kind of like an online Book Club. Really, I'd love to talk to someone else about this. There is one thing from the book that is just driving me crazy and I'd love to get someone else's opinion about it.)
Anyway, along the same lines, today I made the comment while driving that I was going to try and drive no more than five miles over the speed limit from now on. (The police have been out in full force lately, probably trying to drum up some extra revenue for our little county.)
Morgan called me on it and said, "Why don't you just drive the speed limit, isn't that what you're supposed to do?"
I resisted the urge to tell her that I'd be happy to go the speed limit if the rest of the family wasn't always making me "almost" late (which to me is two minutes early, instead of ten). What I did say, and maybe I shouldn't have, is that five miles over would be pretty good for me since I tend to go 10-12 over at any given time (except in residential areas where little kids might be).
I've also been paying more attention lately to other peoples' marriages. It seems like we are having an epidemic of neighbors and friends (and relatives) who are struggling because they are just not compatible with their spouses. Most of these husbands and wives are good people, just not ideal matches for each other.
So really, what's the problem, or the solution? Did they get married too young? Were they in too big of a hurry? Did they really get to know each other before they got engaged? Were they only looking at superficial qualities? (When my husband is giving advice, he likes to say "They'll all look the same in 30 years, so you want to look at qualities other than looks when you are picking a wife." I keep wondering how much offense I should take at this statement.)
I guess the problems are as varied as the people themselves.
Again, gray areas.
So I've been sitting here thinking, is life less black and white because I'm getting older and understand more that nothing is as cut and dried as it seems, or did life really used to be more black and white, but just getting more complicated?
Did life change, or did I?