March 12, 2011

The older I get, the more time I find myself wallowing in the grays instead of black or white. So many of the smooth convictions of childhood have been cracked along the edges, challenged and overturned that I find myself unable - or unwilling - to judge others for what they do or how they react to different situations. It's a mixed blessing, experience. For one it teaches you what sort of person you are: good, bad and ugly. It shows you - without the need for speculation - what kind of monster you turn into when you're challenged, how low your esteem can drop when you're down, how stubborn a creature you can become when your heart is involved, how willing - or not - you are to drop social conventions to further your inclinations. All in all, age teaches you in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that you are not perfect, you have made - and will continue to make - mistakes. You have hurt other people, and you have been hurt in the process. You learn, that there just may be no absolute right and absolute wrong - but there is definitely a right-and-wrong for 'you'. You also - somewhat painfully - understand that judging people by your own pedestal may not always serve, specially since you look rather foolish for all your grand statements when time catches up with you.

There was a time, for example, I thought 'true' love could only ever happen once. And once-upon-a-time I fell in love. And then a few years later, I fell in 'love' again. And I realized that feelings have no boundaries, and most of the time they make no sense. They just 'are', and those of us who are smart realize that and learn to deal with it. Or then was a time when I looked down upon upon people with a penchant for addictive vices because I was convinced that they were somehow 'weaker' than us strong, resistant types. I still resist most addictive substances, but not because I think I'm better than those who don't, but because I suspect I'm not nearly as strong as I once thought I was. I'm afraid, that if i indulge, I may not be able to stop - so I figure it's better not to begin at all.

And what I wonder now is, why do people out there seem to be so comfortable with moral imperatives? How does age make 'you' more qualified to judge others, and me less? How does experience make your grays fade away into black and white? What sort of life do you lead where you can see everything clearly for right and wrong? And what is the difference, between my life and yours? My point is, there are no guarantees and no simple strategies to live life, to make decisions and to know whats right and whats wrong. The older I get, the only thing I get certain of is that there are no certainties, and often - they grays are the safest place to be.

4 comments:

S.A.C~ said...

i want to hug you after reading this. *hugs*

this is something i've been dealing with for quite sometime since i came to pakistan for med. school. sighs. and i still don't know how to deal with it. and just like you mentioned in one previous post, islamabad life is a fake life, it's such a contrast to what pakistan is really about..it's just weird.

Anonymous said...

If I read correctly, our correspondent is not immune to temptations of the flesh! May I suggest a helping of the Decameron? What is Pakistan, after all, but a loose assortment of feudal city-states? In 500 years time, people will covet the wines, cars, and fashions of our country.

Anonymous said...

mogambo .... khush hua :)

Sammone said...

very good :)