I didn’t see “Fifty Shades of Gray” because I had clients who told me not to see it due to its subject matter. Also, I don’t really have 50 pairs of sunglasses. Those disclaimers aside, I do want to suggest to all black-or-white thinkers that there may be other options.
When I was a child, my older brother and I would watch westerns on our black and white TV. The good guys wore white hats and did good deeds. The bad guys wore black hats and did bad deeds. As we grew up the characters on the screen grew more complicated. For example, Bill Murray played characters in three movies doing bad deeds at the beginning, then changing into a good guy: Ghostbusters, Scrooged, and Groundhog’s Day.
Between good and bad, all or nothing, or black and white, there must be at least 50 shades of gray, as well as every color in the rainbow. I do not want to be wishy washy, however I do want to acknowledge that between right and wrong there be options. When the Pharisees confronted Jesus for breaking the Sabbath, which they would have labeled as a sin, He showed them there was another option for looking at his behavior (and at the choice of King David feeding people on the Sabbath).
Feeding the hungry seems good, but what if it’s done to call attention to yourself? Being selfish seems bad, but what if a conceited weatherman grows into a loving and lovable man (okay, most guys would change to get Andie MacDowell to love them!).
Freedom of speech seems good, but what if the nonverbal communication is rioting, looting, and harming others? Condemning a singer who wants to blow up the White House seems good, but what if she’s gone through something bad and wants something legitimate, even though she may have pursued it in illegitimate means?
Don’t be wishy washy or absolutely convinced it’s “my way or the highway” because there may be many shades of gray between perspectives. Be curious and fascinated, open to different ways of looking at things.
Dr. Ray Smith is the most sought-after counselor and relationship coach for physicians in Spokane. After graduating with a Doctor of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, he worked with doctors in Galveston, Houston, San Antonio, Spokane, and Memphis, where he earned a second doctorate, in counseling. His background in parish ministry led to pastoral counseling and coaching for Christian MDs and the creation of physicianscoaching.com to help G.P.s and specialists deal with their unique stresses in medicine.
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