I’ve always thought that the older I got the wiser I’d become. This is not true. It is a fallacy that I have recently come to accept and understand. Things aren’t simple as I’d once thought.
Hmm… Let me back up here a second and try and sort my thoughts out, maybe even explain what I am trying to convey here… It all started when I was a kid back in Green Bay, and before I hear the collected groans of the internet en-mass let me quash your thoughts, This is NOT another Fish Tale.
You see, when I was a kid in the 1970’s everything was simple to me, as I believe it is for most kids. There was right, and there was wrong. There was good and there was bad. When we played “Cops and Robbers” or “Cowboys and Indians” the cops and cowboys were good and the Indians and the robbers were bad.(I was rarely a cowboy or a cop) Boy, were we naïve. Nowadays, sometimes it’s hard to trust the cops and their motives and some robbers are only doing what they have to do in an attempt to take care of their families. As for the Cowboys and Indians, well, let me just say that the Native American Indians got a pretty raw deal from the Caucasian European invaders from the east.
So yeah, I grew up believing that right was right, wrong was wrong and everything was black and white. But the older I’ve become the less things seem so cut and dry to me. It seems that the lines between good and bad, right and wrong have blurred and faded into one giant sky of hazy grayness with no discernable line on the horizon that separates the heavens above or the earth below. And just what is in all the grayness that seems to fill my vision? Good question. I can identify some of the things in those clouds of disillusionment. Inside lurk the monsters of speculations, fear, remorse, manipulation, good intentions, hopes and dreams. It’s a crazy place to live, the void of nullity that has become a constant vision of my future. It’s hard at times to remember the rightness of life and the wrongness of man and the never ending battle between the two.
Is it right to steal? No. Is it right to steal food for starving children? Yes. See the conundrum? And that is just the easiest example. Life is filled with tougher examples of hard choices between doing what we’ve been taught are right and the consequences of our actions once the right thing is done. I know the comic books/graphic novels are filled with these examples, i.e. Peter Parker/Spiderman not stopping the man who robbed the fight promoter only to then have the robber kill his uncle. Did the promoter deserve to be robbed after not paying Peter Parker his money? Did Peter have a duty to stop the robber? Did Peter’s uncle deserve to be killed for what we are led to believe was just a car-jacking gone wrong? Would Peter have been the same Spiderman if his uncle had not been killed? See… LINES have been BLURRED! (I apologize now to anyone who is reading this part of the blog and has no clue about Peter Parker and his origins of becoming Spiderman.)
Sure, some truths remain constant, the loss of a baby is a tragedy no matter where you are… unless you read speculative fiction and that baby was named Adolf Hitler. But then what would have happened in Germany and Europe in the void of leadership of the early 19th century? Would we have had another plague sweep the world? Another dictator takes Hitler’s place only this one a bit more successful in his military strategies? And what of all the children born that are now known as the Baby Boomer Generation and their impact on not just America but the world itself? Isn’t Bill Gates a boomer? Steve Jobs? And many other of the current world’s innovator’s and designers? The Grayness seems to be sending it’s tendrils of speculation into my mind and blurring my vision of this computer screen.
Here is a funny thought and truth, writers, not me for I believe I am still a hack, make their livings by speculating and saying to themselves “What if…” and I guess that is where I am right now. I’m saying “What if…” to a lot of things. I have several pieces of fiction out for submission; I have a piece getting ready to be published and am working on at least three other pieces just for fun. I guess you could say I’ve not only dipped my toes into the grayness of the horizon but I’ve immersed myself mind, body and soul into it and am treading water in a sea of possibilities. And the more I write, the more I read, and the more I learn, the more I realize the less I know with the exception to the fact that I will never be wise and I will never know as much as I want.
I know there are natural laws and absolute truths out there that dictate the motion of the stars and the flow of atoms through the cosmos, but when it comes to the affairs of man and the institute of relationships between one person and another I know there is no formula or solution that provides definitive answers. Just grayness.