While looking through photos I captured on a day trip with our nearby grandchild to an outdoor animal park, the vibrant colors of this parrot inspired me to write this post. But bear with me, it’s not about the parrot.
One of the most difficult aspects of relationships of any kind is when a mind-boggling revelation comes to light and causes you to wonder if you really ever knew the one with whom you had a connection.
We all like to believe that family, friends, and acquaintances possess the utmost caliber when it comes to character. But what happens when suddenly, under scrutiny or duress, the character that is revealed to us is anything but stellar? Definitely not what we thought?
At one time or another in life, we’ve all met someone who, over time, seemed to become quite different from how we first perceived. And instead of the positive character we thought we knew, we see some downright negative character traits surface like a monster from the deep.
What happened? Did that person truly change? A Dr. Jekyll turn into a Mr. Hyde? Or was that the ‘real’ person all along?
Some of those people are truly self-centered and think of no one but themselves and eventually that becomes evident. Some are simply users. They get what they want or need from you by “playing nice” and then when they’re finished with you, they discard you like yesterday’s stale, dry bread. And some are purely narcissists.
It’s then when we say people show us their true colors. Their real personality, disposition, or temperament is revealed to us and we shake our heads and wonder why we didn’t realize that earlier.
The reality is some people are experts at masking their true colors. They’ve learned the fine art of manipulation of others to achieve what they want. They put on a smiling face that appears pleasant and likeable so you’ll be attracted to a friendship with them or worse, a romantic relationship. But as time goes on, the persona they tried to show you in order to win your favor slips. Their true identity becomes evident.
“People are like chameleons, they adapt to your favorite color so you’ll like them. But eventually, true colors always show.” ~ source unknown
True colors ultimately are revealed.
It seems to me way too many people’s true colors are exploding in rage as evidenced by nasty, vile, pure rancor spurting out of my fellow human being’s mouths as well as their fingers when they tap away on their keyboards and phones spewing vitriol all over social media and beyond.
I don’t broadcast my political views and I don’t write about them either here in my personal but very public blog or on social media. Believe me, I do have my opinions, but I choose not to make those known unless you are family or a very close friend – in other words, someone I trust completely.
For me, many of my viewpoints are a private thing because that’s what I was taught by my parents. Some things you just keep close to your chest and don’t reveal publicly and I learned the hard way to consider wisely when and how to discuss my opinions on divisive issues.
Years ago, a “friend” confronted me in anger online and told me how “disappointing” I was. This person assumed the worst of me without even discussing an issue with me. What tied this person’s shorts in a knot was not my opinion at all but what “seemed” to be my belief. We eventually straightened it out, but it bothered me that immediately, this friend assumed the worst about me which wasn’t true at all.
I felt like that person should have understood my true colors after knowing me for many years. But by that one jumping on a particular bandwagon at the time and assuming I was on the opposing side created some hard feelings. And that experience altered a relationship. To this day, I’m careful about discussing certain issues with that person because I believe any differing opinions I may have will be attacked.
Right now, politics is one of those issues that fuels people’s firestorms of animosity from both sides of the fence. Call it malevolence, call it contempt, you could also say it’s just pure hatred. Poisonous, bitter loathing just because people don’t agree.
I’ve seen so much aggressive arguing on social media, I truly can’t stand to log in much anymore. To me, the arguing is so hostile and so obnoxious, it repulses me. And honestly, I find it utterly pointless. Do you really believe you are going to change someone’s mind – especially that of strangers – on social media by yelling at them and calling them names because they don’t see eye to eye with you?
I have my thoughts and you have yours. I have my opinions and you do too. Why can’t we respect the fact that they may differ and agree to disagree in an amicable, calm manner? Why can’t we just have a decent discussion with someone who has an opposing view?
Or is it just that our true colors are showing?
For me, as a believer in Christ, I believe our true human nature without Him is revealed with willful sinfulness. We can try to convince ourselves that our motives are noble and that really, mankind is good. But without the saving grace of a Savior, our hearts are dark, venomous, and full of hate.
My desire is to show my true colors – revealing a heart that reflects colors of love and forgiveness, colors I learn from following and imitating my Savior. How about you?
“Hatred is one of the poisons; like jaundice, it alters the true colors of things.” ~ Rae Foley (pseudonym for author Elinor Denniston)