Shades of Grey

A friend asked me to write about this long ago. And obviously I forgot about it. But the reminder came in this form:

“People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.” ― Lemony Snicket

I went to my Alma Mater (DAV, Burla) 3 years ago for a session during the farewell of a batch 3yrs junior to me probably. I was asked to simply share what it is to leave home, live in a stranger city, meet strange people and discover friendships, discovering yourself etc. You know, normal gyan than anyone can share these days :P

I remember telling them to be adamant about being happy because that’s what helps you to keep walking, especially when not giving up is the most difficult thing to do. If there is one lesson I have learned after leaving home, it is – never to judge people. Maybe it is that I’m a super bad judge because almost always my judgements have been wrong. People have turned out to be way better than I have judged them to be. And I have realized, the less I judge, the happier I am. India needs more academically qualified judges who can sort cases ; not ill equipped character judges making a mess of their own lives and that of others!

Someone came along and taught me that accepting people as they are makes it so much easier for you to co-exist. We all have more shades of grey in ourselves than pure black and white. Imagine being good to everyone around. You will turn into a ‘too perfect hypothetical Ekta Kapoor protagonist’. They do not exist. There’s this excerpt from a Bollywood song which aptly sums up this sentiment:

“Kahan kisi ke liye hai mumkin, sabke liye ek sa hona
Thoda sa dil mera bura hai, thoda bhala hai seene mein”

This understanding that we are different with different people, that we have different priorities and chemistry with them, makes it a lot easier to not judge people around. And it even helps to not have great expectations too. Sure shot formula for making things easier for yourself.

And if nothing works, may we just need to understand that : those who are truly yours need no judgement from you. They are like an open book. You never need to assume them. They are like see through mirrors. They are your best friends, your prized possessions. Don’t judge them. Just be with them :)

We are all shades of grey. Different shades. No two are exactly the same. Like two different whites are never alike. Most important is to know what mix you are made up of; to know how much of black and white you have in yourself. This Harry Potter design sums it all for me perfectly :)

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