We often come across characters in tv, movies, or novels that promote a specific character as “Grey-shaded”. Grey shaded characters are supposed to have some negative traits in them to differentiate them from pure evil and pure good. My question is: Aren’t we all grey-shaded? Then why try to portray characters as white and black? What is our true shade? Is it white, black or grey?
Let’s start by understanding the white shade. White represents purity and the majority of the heroes are in the shade of white. They are excellent people with amazing qualities. These heroes are our ideals and are a true inspiration for us. It is all good until we start portraying and perceiving them as perfect i.e. totally white. We often forget that they are supposed to be human only. And human beings are anything but perfect. Additionally, it makes them single-dimensional, bland, and boring unlike real people in our world.
Similarly, black-shaded people are meant to be evil. They are ruthless, cruel, and pure evil. I agree that bad people exist in our world but unlike fiction, but they are not totally black. Evil is an undeniable truth of our society but portraying them as total tyrants without any signs of emotions is a major mistake. The realistic portrayal will help us understand such kind of people exist among us and don’t belong to some alternate reality.
Next is grey-shaded characters. In fiction, a suspicious person having negative tendencies is considered grey-shaded. Such characters are often suspicious and shady. Now, the only problem I have is that people all around are us are grey-shaded. No one is an angel or a devil. We are a combination of both black and white. Some of us lean more towards the black shade while others towards the white. But we all fall in the same category. Then why this division?
The purpose of this whole rant is to break stereotypes and generalizations. Our fictional world taught us the above classification. And subconsciously, we are applying this to our world. If the person we like is doing good then he is an angel. If the person we hate is doing good, we automatically assume that they have ulterior motives or they are just pretending.
We are quick to forgive the mistakes of our favorite people because they are “in shades of white”. But are finding opportunities to judge others who we consider as “black-shaded” when they make the smallest of errors. This whole classification leads to biasedness and unfair judgments on our part.
This doesn’t mean that we need to let criminals be free. Their crimes cannot be justified and they need to be punished accordingly. But it definitely means that labeling someone as “dark-shaded” because you don’t like them needs to be stopped. If you dislike them then stay away from them. Treat them with basic courtesy but don’t go around spreading false information about them behind their backs. Unfortunately, hatred blinds us to such an extent that we want the whole world to hate them. This kind of attitude will only cause harm in the long-run.
There is a need to acknowledge and understand human beings as they are instead of portraying them as someone who can never make mistakes. Expecting perfection from others makes it much harder for us to accept disappointment. We expect perfection from our relationships and have a hard time when our expectations are not fulfilled. This distribution of people in white, black, and grey shades is toxic to our relationships and needs to be changed.
Accepting imperfections will make us kinder to others and even to ourselves. Most people struggle with forgiving their own mistakes and keep beating themselves about what they have done. The idea of being human (grey) instead of being perfect (white) will make it much easier to acknowledge mistakes and moving on. Acceptance of one’s shortcomings and limitations will also make it much easier for you to navigate the world.