The World in Black or White

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I want life to be black or white
Everything easy and I am right
But it really doesn’t work that way
Life is full of contradictions they say
Why can’t life be black or white
Perhaps I wouldn’t be so uptight
But grays are part of every life
I’ve known pain that cuts like a knife
The world wants things in black or white
Good or bad we have to fight
To protect our perfect way of life
Seems it causes bitter strife
To always think in black or white
Fills me with fear and causes me fright
Extremes affect the way we think
And leaves our nations on the brink
Why can’t we realizes we need the grays
Shadows bring accents in many ways
Creativity and paradigm shifts
Would not be possible without the mix
Must we think only in black or white
Judging our brothers when “they don’t do right”
Or can we simply love their flaws
The grays and shades are part of us all
Black or white makes everyone halt
Shutter and cringe at every fault
Blends are the creations we all need
To love our brothers, and not to bleed
But I guess as long as there are two
Black or white will judge them too
Love the differences don’t get up tight
Live in peace and let’s not fight
Recognize that if we want to survive
Black and white will not keep us alive
Thinking we are always right
Life will surely be a fright

*********

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Black or White

Back Alley in Philadelphia 001

When someone thinks they have all the answers, it makes me take a step backwards. Many atrocities have been done in the name of being right. The more rigid we become in our thinking, the more we want things to be either black or white.  It seems politics is often driven by fear. As we listen to our political candidates, we get the impression that they have everything figured out, and all of their solutions are in black and white. No matter how right we feel we are, I believe we must be open to interact and exchange ideas with others. This poem talks about the importance of grays in our life.

Black or White

I want life to be black or white

Everything easy and I am right

But it really doesn’t work that way

Life is full of contradictions they say

 

Why can’t life be black or white

Perhaps I wouldn’t be so uptight

But grays are part of every life

I’ve known pain that cuts like a knife

 

The world wants things in black or white

Good or bad we have to fight

To protect our perfect way of life

Seems it causes bitter strife

 

To always think in black or white

Fills me with fear and causes me fright

Extremes affect the way we think

And leaves our nations on the brink

 

Why can’t we realizes we need the grays

Shadows bring accents in many ways

Creativity and paradigm shifts

Would not be possible without the mix

 

Must we think only in black or white

Judging our brothers when “they don’t do right”

Or can we simply love their flaws

The grays and shades are part of us all

 

Black and white makes everyone halt

Shutter and cringe at every fault

Blends are the creations we all need

To love our brothers, and not to bleed

But I guess as long as there are two

Black or white will judge them too

 

Love the differences don’t get up tight

Live in peace and let’s not fight

Recognize that if we want to survive

Black and white will not keep us alive

Thinking we are always right

Life will surely be a fright

 

Black and White Photo taken in Philadelphia – 1976 – Dwight Roth