Color & Character
One Red, one Yellow, one Black, one Brown, one White.
Which do you choose?
If you were told you could live in a home that would be yours to keep forever the only catch was that all the houses are fundamentally the same on the outside except for their color. All you had to do was choose one. Which one would you pick?
Before you answer let me give you some more information.
Inside one of these houses, it is frigid cold beyond comfort and everywhere you went you could not get warm. One house is filthy and crumbling with decay everywhere inside and there is no place that’s not in need of some repairs that seem endless; one is hell itself haunted with pain, turmoil and chaos and unbearably hot; and one is just empty inside, just a shell with a facade or phony exterior. It’s so unbearably lonely there too. It provides neither comfort, shelter, warmth, or really anything.
Ah, but one house, this house is special and beautiful inside. It has everything you could want. It is warm when things are cold and cool when things get too hot. It is comfortable all the time and provides a feeling of safeness and well-being that envelops you when you are there. It is just a joy to live there.
So, what house do you choose? The last one of course, but you do not know which one is the best one for you just standing outside.
Would you not want to know something more about the house you are choosing or have a hint about what is inside those so differently colored homes that are very different inside before you make your pick? Maybe get a peek inside a front window before you spend significant time there in that wrong place?
Alternatively, maybe spend some time sitting on the back porch swing looking at the foundation more closely to see if you can notice cracks or flaws you could not live with.
Ideally, you would probably want to try to sit in the living room for a while, examining the floors and ceiling, looking for leaks or water damage, things that you know will cost you significantly later.
Would you not do all of this before making such an important choice and investment?
Of course, you would, because even though you might be very fond of the color because it is familiar, the inside is much more important, isn’t it?
The character of those buildings inside is more important than what is painted on the outside.
Let us look at something else. Replace houses in this example with people. Would we treat people differently than in these houses?
If we were going to choose a friend, business partner, salesman, fraternity brother, counselor, pastor, or lover to spend a significant amount of time with us and invest in them sharing a portion of our lives, isn’t it infinitely more important that we get a peek inside that person?
Should we not take the time to get to know them, examine them, so to speak, character-wise? Should we not scrutinize their conduct before making rash decisions about spending time and resources on a person based exclusively on the color of their skin pigment or the perception that one color is better than another.
It seems like a no-brainer, yet some knuckleheads still choose the color option.
Over fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” The inside is what matters the most, folks.
One Red, one Yellow, one Black, one Brown, and one White, and many others mixed and varied. Which will you choose?
Be more concerned with the internal, not the external; if not, you are just guessing and maybe acting prejudiced.
Our 21st-century lives are expected to be functional. I think it is even demanded. As in, if you do not work, you do not eat. If you do not do your job or show up, you get fired. If you do not call on clients, your business will fail. If you do not pay your bills, you do not get the goods and services you want. If people do not like you for whatever reason, they will shun you or not associate with you.
Life seems exceedingly unfair, and maybe it is living it this way. It promises you nothing when you get here except that someday you will die.
The world does not care if you are too short, tall, fat, skinny, disabled, dysfunctional, unhealthy, or your skin pigment is the wrong color. It does not care if you were born under-privileged or disenfranchised or of the wrong gender or sexual orientation.
Life does not care.
Hopeless? No, far from it. We are just meant to function differently.
We have been given this thing called life and given humanity to keep us company. There are billions of us here right now, so we are not alone though it might seem like that at times. We are all connected though many of us wish to be apart.
Life allows us to be grateful. We should be grateful because we have life. What could we accomplish if we were dead? Any day above ground is a good day, as the saying goes.
As humans, we can and should show love to one another, reminding us we are not alone and allowing us to keep each other company, learn different things from one another, and not to mention opportunities to reproduce, which can be fun for most.
Life allows us to share what we have with one another to meet all needs. Without needs, the ability to share would not exist. There seems never to be enough, so this alone gives us some purpose and should keep anyone busy. There is, however, no need for boredom.
Life allows us to provide for ourselves and our families, allowing us to continue to live, have companionship, and reproduce if we want.
Life allows us to educate ourselves to improve ourselves and be better at living, sharing, and loving more people.
Life has given us these beautiful tools to overcome all of our perceived obstacles. We should be grateful we have obstacles as without them, what kind of life would we have?
Unfairness. Nah. The challenges define us as humans and make life worth the living.
If we are alive and being honest with ourselves, we can all be more functional and should demand it of ourselves.