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Shades of Grey – the Poem

One of the other things I managed to do at the speaker’s corner was to read some of my poetry. One of the overriding themes of my banter was about the importance of conflict “resolution”, something I feel very strongly about, especially after living in country at war for the last few years. So I was very happy to be able to read one of my favourite poems about conflict. This poem is about how I believe that most conflict in the world whether it be at the level of people, nations or even between nations is due to not being able to earnestly see thing for the others point of view, and because of the choice to see things as black or white, rather than the shades of grey that things really are!
 
So here it is:-
 
SHADES OF GREY
 
Shades of grey, shades of grey, shades of grey
They are all here to stay
 
Black and white is too easy, easy-peasy lemon-squeezy
Why would we chose something so binary, when everything is much more complex, Cant we see?
 
Foolishly we follow thee, oh black hole, or white matradee
When really it’s shades of grey that is our friend
The one that will bring conflict to an end
 
Only when you see the situation as the other party sees
Is when the conflict will cease to be
For understanding and empathy, is far more majestic than a simple “oh poor me”
 
Day by day, year by year, we carry on, looking far and near
But still only seeing black or white
 
My father, your mother
They are all good people
And, they are all right, and wrong, at the same time
 
You see, this is the complexity of what I see
“Good people”, “bad people” do not exist as distinct entities
There are elements of each in every being on this planet
 
Shades of grey, Shades of Grey, Shades of Grey
We better learn to see them because they are here to stay
 
 
Bishan Rajapakse (17-1-08)

Poetry_reading

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One thought on “Shades of Grey – the Poem

  1. Hum…profound words..a pitty that the majority of this world are very uncomfortable with the idea of "shades of grey". In some cases they are selective in their acceptance of the "shades of grey".

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