You see gray and I see green. Words spoken by a gracious owner of the place we purchased our carpet from. When it was laid, I saw no blue or green in the carpet. It didn’t look like what I remembered I had selected. So I took a piece that the carpet layer had cut off back to the store to see if this was really what I had selected. Yes – it was. Darn, I said. And he asked what was wrong. “It just doesn’t seem to match. It’s so, so gray and kind of blah looking next to the paint – it matches the bathroom floor but not the bedroom baseboards. But I suppose I can paint those a different color.” And he said, “Well, let’s look, this carpet has a 30 day satisfaction, I’m not sure what that all covers but I can find out for you.”
I talked with him about options and brought home other samples and now I realize that I had selected the carpet color too soon. I selected it before the paint was actually on the woodwork so the new color of paint didn’t match the new carpet. Even though I had brought the sample home and laid it on the floor and even though I had brought the painted paint stick into the store – somehow it all didn’t seem to work once it was laid on the floor.
You see gray and I see green – and the walls are blue and the gray should match but it’s kind of a gray/green and it doesn’t match the woodwork. So either the woodwork or the carpet needs to be changed. If the woodwork wasn’t painted – or if it was white it wouldn’t matter at all.
But as I thought about the statement – ‘You see gray and I see green.’ I thought about larger things in life and how people see things from different perspectives. Neither of us argued or tried to persuade the other to see the color the way we saw it. We simply agreed that we saw the thing differently and worked on a solution that will be mutually acceptable to both of us. Why can’t this happen in the larger matters of life?
Why can’t people have discussions about how they perceive things without trying to persuade people to ‘see things my way.’ Sometimes it’s a language barrier, a communicative difficulty even if they are of the same language and culture so how much more difficult it is for people of different languages and cultures.
By the end of my time in the store we had found a couple more samples of possibilities for carpet and we also found a couple different samples of paint colors – the numbers and names that I wrote down and whether someone sees green or gray isn’t going to matter if I can’t find another color or if the 30 day satisfaction doesn’t cover this problem.
Now – if things could work out so easily in the larger things of life wouldn’t that be wonderful. We all view some of the same things differently – we don’t have to argue about everything – sometimes we need to come to consensus and find satisfaction in that instead of being right. Sometimes, people have such a huge need to be right all the time during remodeling and reorganizing or rebuilding or refurnishing that marriages and families, even organizations, fall apart. Sad to say but sometimes it does happen – but maybe if people prayed their way through these kind of projects there would be fewer break ups, maybe, and that would be good.