Seeing in Black and White

b-and-w

I think I sometimes see too much in black and white, fighting too hard for one side I believe in. Maybe I have too much passion. If I discuss something at school and say, “Three kids started fighting” as opposed to “Everyone erupted into chaos” which story appears to be the most severe? I’d probably choose the latter and I think this is simply two ways of looking at the same situation.

In the first scenario, the class would have erupted into chaos anyway if three kids started a fight, that’s implied, but still seems less of a dire situation given only a stated three kids were involved.

In the second scenario, a blanket statement begs the question “what happened?” And thus a discussion will ensue. Blanket statements beg an explanation; they incite discussion or demand expansion. If I broadly say, “My generation of kids are pampered by tools for instant gratification” doesn’t that spark something more than “There are some people in the world who rely too much on their electronics for answers?” For the former answer, I’d be wondering, “Alright, who does this guy think he is? What else does he have to back this up?” Both of these introductions could be used to start an essay on electronic dependency but, to me, the first introduction does much more.

The outdoors is my love. I may broadly state “My generation is disconnected from the outdoors”, then go about justifying the statement that by all means can be insulting to some. The difference in sounding arrogant in ones argument is to explain why. Making blanket statements and assuming them as fact is arrogance sure, but presenting a foundation for your belief and allowing open dialogue, is that not debate in and of itself? Points, counterpoints, and discussion, a person cannot debate their position without passion and a touch of arrogance.

My wonder is, where is the line in the sand drawn between making assumptions and making a point, and further, being rude, and being passionate?

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