I think that sometimes it is easy for me to become a little blinded by my own perception of things. I don’t try to be short-sighted on the visions and perspectives others hold, but I know I am. I could blame it on a number of things: where I live, how I was raised, my career, my peers, society, etc. In the end though…each and every one of those is a cop-out. What I choose to see or think, or how I choose to respond to something really rests on me.
I’ve always been a bit of a “goody-two-shoes.” (I even won the class award for it in high school.) I often see things as black and white and I think that because of it, I sometimes give myself permission to observe arguments as one-sided when they aren’t. In a discussion about perspective someone once said to me, “Even the dragon is the hero of his own story,” I’m not sure why this simple truth shook my literary core, but it did.
I suddenly found myself retelling classic versions of stories from the other side and just as suddenly, discovered that black and white turned gray. And the right and wrong questions and answers to many of life’s big questions became maybes. In that realization I became deeply disappointed in myself for my lack of depth. I liked to think of myself as a well-rounded, outside-of-the-box thinker, when in reality, I found I might have been just as close-minded as other people, only in a more decorative package.
The good thing about self-reflection is this–it allows you to see yourself for what you are, not for the idealized version you pretended to be. I like to think that embracing the gray, and imagining each character of my life as “the hero of their own story” has widened my gaze just a bit. I may not have the panoramic view I someday hope to, but I do think I’m one step closer to stepping outside of my box. Here’s to the dragon, and hearing his side of things.