It's Not All Black & White

There is something that stirs within me this time of year. I think it has to do with feeling like summer is slipping away and the start of school is just around the corner. I haven’t started back to school in years, but still this haunting feeling returns.

Soon now, good times at the pool will be replaced with learning locker combos, class schedules and how to conjugate a verb. No more sleeping in or staying up late. Not that it’s all bad. There are some things to look forward to, like Friday nights, when the air begins to turn crisp and the atmosphere crackles with the excitement of a high school football game. Yes, I’m a band nerd, but at least I was in the drumline—the rowdy rebels and evil necessity of every band director.

I better be careful or I will reminisce myself into a longing to go back to school.

Recently, My Amazing-Missus took the grand-girls shopping for their back to school supplies. I got to playing around with the boxes of crayons and created one that was all black and white crayons. I showed it to our oldest grand-girl and she looked at me like I had jerked a rainbow from the sky and strangled a unicorn with it. Then she said, “That can’t be real. That would be horrible!”

She’s right.

Attention boys and girls. Today’s lesson is about the importance of having colors in your crayon box.

Here’s the thing about politics and religion and dogma and institutions and fundamentalists: They will steal all the colors out of your box if you’re not careful. Everything will be reduced to this or that, right or wrong (their version of it of course), black or white. When it happens, our worldview narrows, we become narrow-minded and single-minded and mean and bitter. We think everyone is out to get us. We believe every conspiracy theory that comes along.

Worse yet, we miss out on the wonder, the beauty, the possibilities. I asked Karlee, our oldest if she knew who Roy G. Biv is. “Of course.” Of course she knew. We could all learn something if we would pay more attention to Roy G. Biv.

I am sick and tired of politics. I’m tired and sick of the religious right telling me who I should hate and why. I’m tired of people saying, make up your mind. It’s either black or white. 

No it’s not. Meet Roy G. Biv, or as Karlee knows him, the colors of the rainbow: Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo and Violet.

Make a note of that, it will be on the test. And put some color back in your crayon box.