College Life, Summed Up in an Analogy

I believe analogies are a way in which the universe tries to tell us that there is some consistency in all the randomness going on around us. They are a reassurance that everything is not as unpredictable as it seems, that there is some order in all this chaos that is life. I have always been fascinated by colours since I was a child, and used to associate each colour with a different person. As an extension of these thoughts, I will try to draw an analogy between the vast spectrum of colours, and the multitude of individuals we encounter in our lives.
When I came to college, I lived in a binary colour system. Everything and everyone was either good or bad i.e. black or white. This limited the sphere of people I interacted with, and made me miserable. A single bad incident was enough to put that person or group of people in the ‘bad’ list.

As I evolved from within, I shifted to a greyscale colour system. The little faults in people’s behaviour, or in people themselves that I had immediately mapped to the ‘bad’ side, now merged with one of the infinite shades of grey. As a result, I could tolerate people and their behaviour, much more than I did earlier. Tolerate, not accept. Tolerate, not enjoy. Tolerate, not learn. I was not sad like I had been before, but I wasn’t very happy either. Like before, I was constantly apportioning blame and assigning shades of grey to different people. Though I was capable of tolerating people’s idiosyncrasies and bad behaviour in general, I was not happy from within.

Now that my hypothesis on the greyscale system had been refuted by my own experiences, I started asking myself a few questions. Why did I need to map people to any colour system that excluded even a single colour? Why did I need to perform this dimensionality reduction on any human being? This is when it struck me that life is indeed an RGB system. Collapsing it into a greyscale or binary system eliminates so many attributes that essentially define a person. It makes you judgmental and narrows your perspective on people in general. I learnt to enjoy all the different colours that people represent. I learnt that not everyone can be pink or red or orange or blue. I learnt to like the browns and greys. I learnt that there are infinite more colours than the ones we see. I learnt that the most unrelated two colours somehow fit so well together. But most importantly, I learnt that all colours are beautiful separately, in groups and even more so, together. Life has been much more colourful since.

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