We are all beaten down by looking at the picture of the dress floating around the Internet last week. You know the one that looks black and blue to some folks and gold and white to others. I fell into the later camp, and saw nothing that looked black and blue to my eyes. I saw a video explaining why we see different colors, but it didn’t make enough sense to me so I could explain it to anyone else. I just agree that it is as perfectly legit for those who see black and blue as it is for those who see gold and white.

Imagine that—two people looking at the same thing and seeing something totally different. That seldom happens, does it?Blue-and-Black-Dress

Of course it happens all the time. The interesting thing about the dress photo is that I heard a bunch of people expressing their opinion, but I didn’t hear anyone getting upset with those who saw it differently. My son did tell me I was wrong, but he wasn’t mad or upset.

Why can’t we look at a group of terrorists and realize that not everyone shares our opinion about how to respond?

Why can’t we examine an economic problem with the understanding that there might be others ways to interpret the facts?

Why can’t we understand that people who belong to other political parties might also hold legitimate opinions?

Why can’t we say to others who hold different religious viewpoints than ours that we understand?

Why can’t we comprehend that some people see racism when we don’t?

Why is it so hard for us to accept that what we are sure is the truth might not make sense to someone else?

Why do we have to pick an opinion and then castigate everyone who picks a different opinion?

When I saw the previously mentioned dress, I was confident it was gold and white. I was so sure that if I would have been called to testify in court I would have boldly proclaimed that she was wearing a gold and white dress.

gold dressHowever, now that I have seen other photos of the same dress, I realize that it is really (no kidding) black and blue. I was wrong—imagine that!

The church was wrong for centuries about the sun rotating around the earth.

Much of the church was wrong for decades over the issue of slavery.

The church has been on the wrong side of history many times. Men have fought and died and killed to defend positions that we now laugh about. Can you imagine putting someone to death for believing the earth is not the center of the universe? Or, can you comprehend Christians going to war to defend slavery? It happened.

I am not suggesting we not stand up for the truth. What I am suggesting is that we try to remain cognizant to the possibility that what we think is the truth might turn out to be wrong. The gold dress might actually be black even though it looks pretty clear to me.

We can speak the truth without shedding blood. The Apostle Paul encouraged us to “speak the truth in love” and we will mature to be like Christ.

The reason I didn’t get upset and angry with those who saw a black and blue dress is because I knew what they thought did not have any impact on the important things in my life. This is also true with most issues. What you believe about politics, religion, and lifestyles have no effect on the way I live my life. I should certainly be willing to say what I believe is right, but I’m not obligated to destroy you if you disagree. It would do us well to remember that we don’t all have the same perspective.

We have two small dogs that look similar. This morning, my wife looked across the room and called to “Samson.” I looked up and said, “That’s Moses, not Samson” (I know, great names for small dogs). From where she was she saw Samson, but from where I was I saw Moses. We were both right, and we were both wrong. Fortunately we didn’t fight about it.

Next time you get ready to post an article on Facebook declaring that all Republicans (or Democrats, or Blacks, or immigrants, or whatever) are idiots, remember we are all looking at the same dress. They might see black and blue when you see gold and white, and they might be right.


1 Comment

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One response to “Perspective

  1. Always good to hear your perspective, Terry. I walk around with a sign in my head that says, “Lean not unto your own understanding…” ant that helps me to remember that there are frequently differing opinions on the issues that face us today. But rather than hear someones negative opinion I’d just like to hear some sound ideas.

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