My idea of what’s good and bad and right and wrong is maybe greyer than most, and I like writing about that. — Shaun Cassidy
It is all about perspective, values, local traditions and mindset. What may appear wrong to me may seem right to another. Who are we to pass judgement?
Yet, if it involves somebody you love, you overthink and do tend to get critical.
Recently a good friend, guide and mentor who spent the last two years of her life battling disease succumbed, leaving many friends and family bereft and heartbroken.
She had impacted many of our lives with her positivity, vibrancy, ethical behaviour and her ability to make us laugh. She was brave and strong and never complained, and she taught us to face illness and bad times with dignity and composure.
While most of us were still dealing with the reality of her having gone and wondering about God’s ways of having snatched away somebody who still had so many productive years ahead, we heard some distressing news that not only shocked us but moved the focus away from her to her spouse.
He was known to us through her. A soft-spoken, quiet man who stayed in the shadows.
Within three to four months of her demise, he announced his intention of remarrying, resulting in curiosity, gossip and discussions on right and wrong in the context of our traditions.
In our country, a man remarrying in the late sixties is not common, and waiting a year after the demise of a loved one is considered appropriate. The haste became the topic of conversation and a matter of distress to many who felt he was violating his wife’s dignity, who was a popular public figure.
Another fact that rankled most was the knowledge that he was marrying someone whom she had guided, mentored and helped achieve laurels in her profession.
As the ‘other lady’ claimed loyalty and devotion to our friend, then what was the need for shocking the sensibilities of all by being in rush to announce their forthcoming marriage and sharing photographs with friends.
Would it not be in better taste to wait a few months before marrying your friend’s husband? That would not permit people to cast aspersions on your sincerity to your friend and your relationship with her husband.
If I shift my focus from black and white to grey, I rationalise the urgency at sixty-nine for a man. I understand the fear of loneliness, and the need for a companion is more as you grow old. Maybe after forty years of marriage, it is not easy to accept a change in your marital status.
As a senior citizen, long past the prime of your life, you presumably do not care about the impression you make on others. However, at this age, people tend to look up to you as a role model.
Presumably, there is no wrong doing in your mind or thoughts. You feel you were a devoted husband and had a happy marriage. You may have your own justification for submitting to this need for another companion in your August years.
You do not care to think about how others cannot fathom how a devoted husband of forty plus years remarries somebody who was just an acquaintance.
At sixty-nine, do you so quickly decide to marry someone you barely know, or, as people suspect, has it been a long-drawn affair?
The grey is murky but a reality. For people who live in a black and white zone, grey areas are incomprehensible. There is no right or wrong, as what may be wrong for me is right for someone else. We all have our perspective that guides our actions. We all voice opinions as per our upbringing, influences, traditions and circumstances. Some of us are more vociferous in our judgement, others more forgiving and willing to condone actions. This is what makes us distinctive as individuals.
Everything is not black-and-white. I’m really interested in the gray area – not justifying it, not glorifying it, not condoning it, but at least having people see there’s a genesis for every event in our lives. There’s some divine order to it, whether it’s ugly or beautiful. — Isaiah Washington
This post was previously published on Medium.
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