Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shades of grey

Why is it that I give some people a wee bit more slack than others?

People that I care deeply for are given a get out of jail free card which gives them permission to have a bad day, say completely unintelligible things, argue with me, be crankypants, be late for dinner or disagree with me about pretty much anything.  I'm able to see the difference between this person is having a bad moment and this is a bad person.  I see these folks for who they are rather than what they do and unconditional love flows freely and easily.

People with whom I have little vested interest in have a one strike you're out policy.  It's not quite that dramatic but I am definitely less able (or willing?) to chalk up bad behaviour to simply having a bad day.  Instead, I judge them and my respect for them can fall quickly and dramatically.

Am I too easy on those I love?

or too hard on those I don't?

I think what it comes down to is that I have a pretty strong sense of right and wrong.  I'm also fairly capable of seeing the shades of grey that fall in between the two extremes.  Knowing someone well means that I'm better able to see their shades of grey and therefore understand where they're coming from.  People I don't know well fall more quickly into the 'right' and 'wrong' buckets because I can't see their shades of grey as readily.  Those are often the folks that drive me completely batty.

I guess what I need to try remember is that everyone has a greater depth and breadth than is evident from daily interactions.  Doesn't mean that some of them aren't legitimately slimy, cruel or just really annoying - it just means I probably need to give them a few more rounds at bat before I throw them off the team.

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