You know what dress I’m talking about. I’m not even going to put up a picture of it. Instead, here’s a French bulldog puppy learning to trust.
Some say the dress is white and gold, some say the dress is black and blue, some say the dress is blue and brown, and some say the dress is brown and black with pawprints. Those people are looking at the wrong dress.
But the one thing they all have in common is that they care. It matters to them who is right and who is wrong.
Why do we have to form teams about everything?
Because it’s not just the dress. Every aspect of our culture has been overridden extremism and tribalism.
Take politics. Politics is supposed to be an arena where people with very different opinions and agendas come together, understand each others’ views, and find a compromise that best serves everyone involved.
Instead, we scream at our politicians to square off like linebackers, blindly championing their own causes and refusing to give any quarter. Those who try to work together to effect actual change are branded traitors and switched out for for players who won’t be distracted by things like the greater good.
We treat religion the same way. We live in fear of open-mindedness because we have never learned to truly examine what we believe. So rather than respect each other as human beings who may be right or may be wrong, but are still people, we dehumanize each other with slurs and insults and e-mail forwards that aren’t jokes as much as they are swings of a club.
Even entertainment isn’t free from this. People work hard to make movies and music and books and television shows to create something beautiful, or explore life, or ask questions…to create art.
And at year’s end, we gather to judge which song was best, which movie was best, which book was best, as if nothing has value unless it’s better than everything else. And the rest of the time, we make snide comments about the TV shows our friends watch, or think slightly less of each other for our varying tastes in music.
And we care about what color a dress is in a poorly exposed photograph.
So what’s the answer?
Do we say that all opinions are equal? That the dress is all colors at the same time?
No. That is stupid. And visually horrifying.
Obviously, someone is right, and a lot of other people are wrong. Somewhere in the world, that dress is sitting in a closet, and it has actual, set colors.
We can have the grace to admit that we might be wrong about the dress.
We can have the compassion to know that being wrong about the dress does not make people stupid or evil or less than human.
We can have the perspective to realize that sometimes, the color of a dress is not very important in the long run.
Politics is not a football game.
Religion is not a battlefield.
Art is not a contest.
The dress is just a dress.
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If you absolutely hated this opinion, and would like to rant and rave to your friends about even more of my stupid opinions, you might enjoy thoroughly despising Not Everyone Is Beautiful or The Hangover Generation.