This I Believe

Jennifer - Naperville, Illinois
Entered on February 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe

I believe in the color gray – the mixture of black and white. I believe there is no such thing as completely good or bad. I don’t believe in right or wrong in the entirety of actions. There is always a gray area. Gray is the doubt of intent. Whether black is mixed with very little white to make a dark gray or white is mixed with a little bit of black for a very light gray, I think that actions are a mix of objectives. In other words, an act of poor judgment may have good reason behind it. Likewise, a virtuous act may be backed by selfish intentions. Nonetheless, these pleasant and unpleasant deeds may have an even unintentional opposite, thus creating the color gray.

When I was in high school, it was very difficult for me to understand physics. The formulas and concepts, although I was in the easier of classes, were above me. In my mind there was no way that I was going to be able to grasp these ideas. So in order to get the grade that I wanted I needed help. I asked my best friend, who was always excelling in the upper level science courses, if she could help me. She agreed because she wanted to help her best friend. However, she hoped that in the future I could help her prepare and practice a speech she was assigned because that is a subject I excelled in. As friends, we cared about each other and each other’s well being, though we had our own selfish purpose behind our good actions. I believe that the combination of both our selfish and unselfish acts made gray, but in this case it was a light gray because our giving attitude was mostly good.

On the contrary, there are times when a crime or other act that is morally and socially considered bad in society, has a deeper meaning wrapped into it. For example, look at the September 11th controversy. For Americans, this horrific tragedy was a purely evil demonstration. However, if one were to consider the beliefs and motives of those who terrorized our country one would find that there are people in this world with religious beliefs far from our own. The hijackers of the September Eleventh attacks were devout in their belief that destroying our country would purify their souls. Like in many terrorist attacks, it is hard to see the gray area. It is hard to believe that one would consider the killing of innocent people as justifiable because it is not. Though looking at different situations through the eyes of the offender, one must take into consideration the reason for their unjust measures.

Like in most instances, there is a gray area. What may be presumed as purely good or purely bad is not the case. There is not always a true black or white. This is why I believe in the color grey.