Most situations are morally ambiguous. People like to pretend otherwise … but the truth is, we live in a gray, gray world.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the clean-and-simple narratives we construct to make sense of ambiguity. We like to assign heroes & villains, oppressors & saviors. We like soundbite statements, book-jacket summaries, and bottom lines. But in the end, they’re all just stories — close to the truth, but not quite nailing it.
Moral ambiguity makes me as uncomfortable as anyone else. But I’m going to try to make peace with it … and in doing so, maybe connect with other people a little more deeply and truthfully.
As the newbie homeowner of a 61-year old house, I’m learning a thing or two about priorities & patience. In many ways, owning a home is (unfounded speculation alert!) a lot like having a kid. Granted, my house is far from a colicky infant wailing at 4 am … it’s more of a sullen teenager that gets good grades but occasionally goes all emo and screams “I hate you!” before slamming the door in my face.
When I lived in a studio apartment, it was easy to keep everything in a perpetual state of gleaming perfection. If something was dirty, I cleaned it. If something broke, my landlord fixed it. End of story.
Since moving into my new house 6 weeks ago, I’ve had to install a new air conditioner & thermostat, replace a burned-out furnace fuse, reset the electrical connection to the oven, spackle & repaint the walls, spread new contact paper inside the kitchen drawers, shift the gas meter to a different location, wire the den for cable, clean the toilet and shower with abrasive scrubs and bleach … and yet, the “to do” list continues to grow — indefinitely.
If there’s one sentiment that my fellow homeowners all seem to share, it’s “the work is never done.”
To balance the scales of sanity, I’ve adopted the following mantra: “it can wait till tomorrow.”
… unless it’s a fire, gas leak, or flood. Or a velociraptor attack. In which case, freeze! They can sense motion. And smell fear. Allegedly. According to movies.