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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Andre Gide

"The color of truth is gray."

French Writer
1869 - 1951

Many people see the world as black and white and they quickly choose sides that give rise to conflict.  When it comes to the interactions of human beings nothing is black and white.  You can always find some gray.  Every person has some good in him as well as some bad.  Sometimes writers and artists fall into this same trap.  Only our style of art is good.  Everything else is bad.  So for much of the 20th century artists moved  away from realism and adopted cubism, abstract expressionism, surrealism and magical realism.  Realism became a negative word.  In writing, we have the literary writing and the genre writing.  Those who write mysteries, science fiction, fantasy or romance novels are not as good as the literary writers.

For me, very little truth is black and white.  Most truth, if not all, is various shades of gray.  No human has a monopoly on truth.  We all make mistakes.  I grew up in a church where the people would split over as simple things as whether men should wear clothes with buttons or the fish and hook.  The fight between the Republicans and Democrats is because each thinks they have the truth.  They actually probably agree on 95% of the issues, but they allow the five percent to divide them.  They don't see the gray because they are blinded by the black and white.

Who in your life are you separated from because you each think you have the truth?  A story does not just have one or two sides.  It has thousands of sides.  Nothing is black and white.  Everything is gray.  Break down those black and white walls today and gather those you love in your arms.