when things turn gray

Evan - 48044, Michigan
Entered on January 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

On September 11 2001, the TV played for deaf ears and blind eyes. All focus was on my grandfather, 78 and was given his six months 16 years ago. A true man amongst men, he’s seen all the change and turmoil our country has been through and had just seen the most horrific thing to happen in this generation. My mom asks him “Dad, How do you feel about this?” my grandpa let out a long sigh and resituated in his wheelchair. “How do I feel? Well I feel sad that innocent people had to die for these people to get there point across, but I can’t say we didn’t ask for it. I’m not saying we were at fault somehow or our ways have to change its just…When things turn gray we’ll all be at peace and I’ll be smiling.”

Its that last bit that stuck with me. “When things turn gray we’ll all be at peace” I was only 7 years old when he said it and I didn’t get it. When he passed 3 years later, I remembered his answer. I thought of all he’d seen; 3 major wars, a veteran of one. He witnessed prejudice he did not believe in, hate of all kinds, and he stuck through all of it. He managed to build a life out of the slums he was born into and raised three successful children. Even with all that wisdom behind him, all the knowledge he possessed, he said something so vague and abstract. “When things turn gray…” I stood a posthumous at his funereal, I was not bewildered or hysterical. I simply was not there. Wherever my mind wandered that day, it stayed there. A dream my grandfather and I share. I had discovered grayness.

Gray by definition is the achromatic color between extremes black and white. Between extremes, wise and peaceful gray lives. What my grandfather meant was that our world embraces color. We associate color with our ethnicity, culture, and even religion. Many of you reading this embrace your colors, you should you are it as much as it is you in our world today. I want you to imagine a gray world, gray people, gray trees and gray skies, entirely mono-colored. What separates us then? On what grounds do I have to pre-judge you on? What can I hate about you that I don’t hate about myself? The answer is nothing, in a gray world there would be no war, no one fighting for something they didn’t believe in because our beliefs would all be the same. One intelligent peaceful questioning race, a global community working for each other.

However, our world is far from gray. We see, think, act, judge, and hate in full color. The reds hate everyone blue but the blues have allied with yellows and greens, so the reds wage war on the blues, yellows, and greens while purple attacks gold and pink broadcasts the whole thing to the rest of the rainbow. Gray tunes out; they’ve developed a formula to solve reds economic issues which is why they hate the blues to begin with. Our world, beautiful vibrant colors. Stabbing at each other begging, preaching and forcing each other to convert to the one on the brush tips wavelength. It might not be that black and white, and many of you might even be offended that I’ve suggested you to abandon your color. Let me apply Newton ’s third law, “For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction” everything you love there is someone who hates it. Everything you would die for there is someone who would kill to get rid of it. In this, I believe in Gray, to be one people, one race, one shared goal. “When things turn gray” the human race will flourish, and two long deceased on lookers will be smiling