Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I believe the sky is . . .

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What we believe, on an individual level, is something deeply personal and helps define who we are. It's very hard to define ourselves without our beliefs. The neat thing is that beliefs vary from person to person, helping to make us unique. We believe certain things because of our experiences.

For example, what color do you believe the sky is?

One group will instantly say -- duh! It's blue. Go walk outside and look at it! It's blue. And they'd be right. The sky is indeed blue.

Another group will say, the sky is clear. It appears blue because of particles in the atmosphere reflect the blue light, thus giving the appearance that the sky is blue. But it's not, it's really colorless. And they'd be right.

Yet another group will say that the sky is a kalidescope of color. It's blue on clear days, and black on clear nights. It's pink, yellow, orange, and purple at sunrise and sunset. Shades of gray on ominous weather days. And yes, they'd too be right.

How about another group? They'd say they don't know, because they're color blind. They'd go around and ask a bunch of their friends and family this question. They'd try out what each person said and study reactions of others, and of themselves. Experience what it meant to have the sky be whatever color they believed, and ultimately settle on an answer. Whatever they settled on, would be right.

For fun, one more group would just look at you and tell you there is no sky. They'd be right as well.

The point is, on an individual level, we really don't care what other people think about the sky. It's their choice. Their own life experiences will lead them to the answer that's appropriate for them, and works for them. As American's especially, we should understand this journey, this freedom to discover and experience, and allow them to choose what color they believe the sky is.

So, let everyone choose the color of the sky. They don't have to pick the color you did, or the explanation that you did. Let them choose . . . free of bias. If someone asks you what color the sky is, feel free to educate. But, for the love of God, don't let your beliefs get in the way of someone picking the color for themselves. It's not your choice, or your belief. It's theirs. Be respectful, accepting, and if you don't like their choice, then let them be. It's a big ass sky, and there's plenty of room for more than one color.