Society constantly pushes us to simplify life down to black and white terms. But I’ve found that the much of the beauty of life is discovered in the gray areas.
Those areas that teach us, refine us and reveal who we really are. It’s where we find our character and what we’re made of. It’s where we’re challenged and shattered and overjoyed. There is pain and weeping, as well as indescribable joy.
People are often under the delusion that a happy life implies simplicity and ease. However, I believe it is the struggles, the challenges and gray areas that afford us true, deep happiness. It’s a happiness and peace that stands strong in times of heartache and loss.
I decided long ago to embrace the gray, where things aren’t so simple. It’s like that here in Africa. That’s part of why so much traditional aid that may work well in the developed world, continues to fail. This is not a black and white zone. 1 + 2 doesn’t always = 3. And for some people, that’s a deal breaker. For me, I appreciate how that constant dynamic affects my character and fortitude.
In School, we learn about a simple little world encapsulated within the pages a curriculum. But when we experience outside of the classroom, things don’t add up. We’re hit with conflicts that do not fit into that black and white world. We run from the gray because we were taught that it is wrong, irresponsible, or even sinful.
But I love the gray. That’s where I find the most interesting people and most extraordinary things. It’s in those moments that I’m most challenged to broaden my perspective and study emotions and feelings I don’t understand. This is where I learn and grow.
My willingness to value, embrace and listen to the gray has afforded me endless opportunities to experience extraordinary relationships and boundless beauty. I am grateful for the gray.